the recent Brown decision makes it clear that employees in the State of California have a statutory public right to bring a representative PAGA claim and this right cannot be waived by mandatory arbitration agreements
Los Angeles, California (PRWEB) June 06, 2013
On November 21, 2012, the Los Angeles employment attorneys at Blumenthal Nordrehaug & Bhowmik filed a class action against Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Los Angeles (“Coca-Cola”) claiming that Coca-Cola misclassified a group of warehouse supervisors as exempt from overtime pay. Included in the original Complaint was a cause of action alleging violations of California's Private Attorney General Act ("PAGA"). Michael Hopkins, et al. vs. Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Los Angeles, Case No. SACV 13-0103 (AG(RNBx) is currently pending in the United States District Court for the Central District of California.
After filing the class action Complaint that alleged the Plaintiff and other Warehouse Supervisors were misclassified and owed overtime pay, Defendant Coca-Cola sought to enforce an arbitration agreement that Plaintiff had allegedly signed prior to his employment with Coca-Cola. After both sides briefed the issue, the Court dismissed the Plaintiff's PAGA claims and compelled his individual wage claims to arbitration On June 5th, 2013.
Plaintiff's attorneys at Blumenthal Nordrehaug & Bhowmik are now requesting the Court to reconsider its decision to dismiss Plaintiff's PAGA claims in light of the Brown v. Morgan Tire & Auto, LLC decision that was handed down a day earlier by a California Court of Appeal. In that decision, the Court of Appeal held, "When applied to PAGA, a private agreement purporting to waive the right to take representative action is unenforceable because it wholly precludes the exercise of this unwaivable statutory right. AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion (2011) 131 S.Ct. 1740 does not require otherwise."
When asked about the decision to request that the judge reconsider his ruling dismissing the PAGA claims, Plaintiff's attorney Norman Blumenthal stated, "the recent Brown decision makes it clear that employees in the State of California have a statutory public right to bring a representative PAGA claim and this right cannot be waived by mandatory arbitration agreements."
Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik is a Los Angeles employment law firm that focuses its practice on helping workers fight back against unfair business practices, including violations of the California Labor Code. Contact one of their experienced lawyers today for free California employment law advice by calling (866) 771-7099.