August 16, 2017

Statewide PAGA Claim Eliminated

Payne & Fears obtained an order striking the representative PAGA claims from a statewide wage-and-hour action, thus reducing size of the case from over 250,000 members to a mere handful of individual claims.

Five former employees sued Payne & Fears’ client, a large multistate retailer, for meal and rest period violations and related causes of action.  Plaintiffs sought to certify a class of over 250,000 current and former employees and also sought to maintain claims for PAGA penalties on behalf of the same population.  The court denied class certification on plaintiffs’ direct statutory claim for rest period premiums but certified a “meal period class” under Business & Professions Code section 17200.  However, the court then granted summary adjudication – on a class basis – against the plaintiffs on the ground that Section 17200 did not provide a remedy under the circumstances alleged.  Payne & Fears then moved to strike the PAGA claims on the grounds that they were unmanageable, unsupported by evidence in the plaintiffs’ trial plan and barred by the statute of limitations.  The court granted the motion and dismissed the representative claims, leaving the plaintiffs with only their individual causes of action. 

Jim Payne, Jeff Brown, and Ray Boggess handled the defense of the case.