Skip to Main Content
Our Commitment to Diversity

The Essentials - California Employment Law Update

Welcome to the Essentials - A Summary of New Developments in California Employment Law

Date: 14 October 2021
U.S. Labor, Employment, and Workplace Safety Alert

Update to Chamber of Commerce v. Bonta

We recently published an alert on the status of arbitration agreements in California after the Chamber of Commerce v. Bonta decision. In case you missed it, our alert is here. A quick update to this case: the Chamber of Commerce filed an unopposed motion for extension of time so that the Chamber can file a petition for rehearing en banc by the 9th Circuit.

CA Court of Appeal Ruling in Wesson v. Staples the Office Superstore, LLC Signals Potential Impact to Future PAGA Trial Flow

On 9 September, 2021, a California Court of Appeal in Wesson v. Staples the Office Superstore, LLC ruled that “(1) courts have inherent authority to ensure that Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) claims can be fairly and efficiently tried and, if necessary, may strike claims that cannot be rendered manageable; [and] (2) as a matter of due process, defendants are entitled to a fair opportunity to litigate available affirmative defenses, and a court’s manageability assessment should account for them.” Wesson v. Staples the Office Superstore, LLC, No. B302988, 2021 WL 4099059 at *2 (Cal. Ct. App. 9 Sept., 2021). In short, the court’s ruling expands on the ruling in Williams v. Superior Court, 3 Cal.5th 531 (2017), and confirms that a trial court can prevent a PAGA trial from going forward (partially or wholly) when it cannot be tried fairly and efficiently given the scope and nature of the legal issues presented. It also confirms that a plaintiff’s proof of his or her prima facie claims and a defendant’s affirmative defenses must be considered in the assessment of whether a PAGA claim is unmanageable for trial purposes. However, unmanageable PAGA claims will not always result in striking the claim. Just as in class actions, lower courts are encouraged to work with the parties to address manageability concerns, such as adopting a feasible trial plan or limiting the scope of the claim. In light of this ruling, it is even more important for employers to focus discovery on obtaining information/documents to support the manageability defense.

Tune in to our webinar on the new California employment laws of 2022:

On 28 October, our California LEWS attorneys will partner with the Southern California Chapter of the ACC and present on the new California employment laws of 2022. Registration is complimentary through the ACC: https://www.acc.com/education-events/2021/new-california-employment-laws-2022.

Eugene C. Ryu
Eugene C. Ryu
Los Angeles
San Francisco
View
Saman Rejali
Saman Rejali
Los Angeles
View
Penny Chen
Penny Chen
Los Angeles
View

This publication/newsletter is for informational purposes and does not contain or convey legal advice. The information herein should not be used or relied upon in regard to any particular facts or circumstances without first consulting a lawyer. Any views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the law firm's clients.

Return to top of page

Email Disclaimer

We welcome your email, but please understand that if you are not already a client of K&L Gates LLP, we cannot represent you until we confirm that doing so would not create a conflict of interest and is otherwise consistent with the policies of our firm. Accordingly, please do not include any confidential information until we verify that the firm is in a position to represent you and our engagement is confirmed in a letter. Prior to that time, there is no assurance that information you send us will be maintained as confidential. Thank you for your consideration.

Accept Cancel