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Friday, August 21, 2015

Williams v. Superior Court: Cal. Supreme Court Grants Review of Holding that Trial Court May Allow Discovery on Incremental Basis in PAGA Action

In Williams v. Superior Court (Marshalls of CA, LLC) (5/15/15) --- Cal.App.4th --- (discussed here), the Court of Appeal held that in a PAGA action, the trial court may require the plaintiff to proceed with discovery incrementally, rather than receiving the names and contact information of allegedly aggrieved employees at the start of the litigation.

The California Supreme Court granted review on August 19, 2015, stating the issues as follows: 

(1) Is the plaintiff in a representative action under the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (Lab. Code, § 2698 et seq.) entitled to discovery of the names and contact information of other “aggrieved employees” at the beginning of the proceeding or is the plaintiff first required to show good cause in order to have access to such information?  
(2) In ruling on such a request for employee contact information, should the trial court first determine whether the employees have a protectable privacy interest and, if so, balance that privacy interest against competing or countervailing interests, or is a protectable privacy interest assumed? (See Hill v. National Collegiate Athletic Association (1994) 7 Cal.4th 1; Pioneer Electronics (USA), Inc. v. Superior Court (2007) 40 Cal.4th
Williams v. Superior Court is case no. S227228, and the Court's web page for it is here.

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