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Friday, March 13, 2009

Cal. Supreme Court Sets Hearings in Wage and Hour Cases

The California Supreme Court has set hearings in two cases that we're watching. On March 8, the Court will hear arguments in Arias v. Superior Court (Angelo Dairy) and Amalgamated Transit Union v. Superior Court (First Transit, Inc.).

In Arias, the Court will consider the following issues:
(1) Must an employee who is suing an employer for labor law violations on behalf of himself and others under the Unfair Competition Law (Bus. & Prof. Code, section 17203) bring his representative claims as a class action? (2) Must an employee who is pursuing such claims under the Private Attorneys General Act (Lab. Code, section 2699) bring them as a class action?
It seems to me that the Court is likely to answer: (1) Yes; (2) No. But I'm not on the Court.

In Amalgamated, the Court will consider the following:
(1) Does a worker's assignment to the worker's union of a cause of action for meal and rest period violations carry with it the worker's right to sue in a representative capacity under the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (Lab. Code, sec. 2698 et seq.) or the Unfair Competition Law (Bus. & Prof. Code, sec. 17200 et seq.)? (2) Does Business and Professions Code section 17203, as amended by Proposition 64, which provides that representative claims may be brought only if the injured claimant "complies with Section 382 of the Code of Civil Procedure," require that private representative claims meet the procedural requirements applicable to class action lawsuits?
I think the Court is likely to answer: (1) Yes; (2) Yes. Let's see how my predictions do.

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