California Appeals Court Affirms Right to Employee to Pursue PAGA Action in Court

California Appeals Court affirms right to employee to pursue PAGA action
in court, not dependent on the outcome of their “individual claims” in
arbitration  (Barrera v. Apple Am et al)

“Standing under PAGA is not affected by enforcement of an agreement to
adjudicate a plaintiff’s individual claim in another forum. Arbitrating
a PAGA plaintiff’s individual claim does not nullify the fact of the
violation or extinguish the plaintiff’s status as an aggrieved employee,
any more than the time-barring of remedies did in Johnson or the
settlement of the individual damages claims did in Kim.” (Adolph, supra,
14 Cal.5th at p. 1121, citing Kim, at pp. 84-85; Johnson, at p. 930.)
“In sum, where a plaintiff has filed a PAGA action comprised of
individual and non-individual claims, an order compelling arbitration of
individual claims does not strip the plaintiff of standing to litigate
non-  individual claims in court.” (Adolph, supra, 14 Cal.5th at p.
1123.)  – Berrera v. Apple Am Group (citing Cal. Supreme Court in
Adolph)-affirming standing to pursue “non individual claims” in court,
while resolving their individual claims in arbitration.

Similarly, the ct of appeal in Barrera stated that (citing the Adolph
and Kim cases), that “And as Adolph holds, the requirement that
plaintiffs resolve their individual PAGA claims in arbitration does not
strip them of their standing to litigate their nonindividual PAGA claims
in court. (Adolph, supra, 14 Cal.5th at pp. 1114, 1120-1123, 1128.)”

This seems to suggest (to me at least) that EVEN IF you go to
arbitration, that the PAGA “non individual” claims can continue in court
(which is penalties) and you have standing to pursue them, regardless on
the results of your “individual” claims in arbitration.

This is a big deal to employees, and a notice to employers.  Sure, have
a lock stock arbitration provision, be quick to invoke it, pay fees on
time etc.  The question that the court “stay” the action pending
arbitration would be moot in my view IF you can represent “aggrieved”
employees whether or not you work there anymore or lose your individual
case.  STANDING is a big deal.  Here, the appellate court followed
California Supreme Court precedent, and affirmed the right of
individuals to pursue “non individual” claims in court.