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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Court of Appeal Holds that Waiting Time Penalties are Not Available Under UCL

On January 21, 2009, the First District Court of Appeal issued a decision that has a number of bad points for employees. A little background: the plaintiff was employed by Bank of America, and resigned effective May 11, 2006. B of A did not pay him his final wages until May 16, 2006. Plaintiff filed a class action lawsuit on October 22, 2007, more than a year later. The trial court granted B of A's motion for judgment on the pleadings, and the plaintiff appealed.

The Court of Appeal held: (1) As held in McCoy v. Superior Court (Kimco) (2007) a 1-year statute of limitations applies to Section 203 claims where the employer pays the employee all earned wages before the employee sues; (2) The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the plaintiff leave to amend to name a new class representative plaintiff whose claims were not barred by the 1-year statute of limitations; and (3) Labor Code Section 203 waiting time penalties cannot be recovered as restitution under the Unfair Competition Law, California Business and Professions Code Section 17200.

I hate to say it, but this is one of those cases that I wouldn't have pursued. As the saying goes, bad facts make bad law.

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