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How Can a PAGA Plaintiff Lose Standing? The Court Goes Into Detail in the Uber Lawsuitby@legalpdf
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How Can a PAGA Plaintiff Lose Standing? The Court Goes Into Detail in the Uber Lawsuit

by Legal PDF: Tech Court CasesJanuary 27th, 2024
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The high court concluded that a PAGA plaintiff loses standing in this situation: “[A]s we see it, PAGA provides no mechanism to enable a court to adjudicate non-individual PAGA claims

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ERIK ADOLPH vs. Uber Court Filing, retrieved on July 17, 2023, is part of HackerNoon’s Legal PDF Series. You can jump to any part in this filing here. This is part 4 of 15.

III.

Against this backdrop, we consider whether an aggrieved employee who has been compelled to arbitrate individual claims “premised on Labor Code violations actually sustained by” the plaintiff (Viking River, supra, 596 U.S. at p. __ [142 S.Ct. at p. 1916]; see Lab. Code, § 2699, subd. (a)) maintains statutory standing to pursue non-individual “PAGA claims arising out of events involving other employees” (Viking River, at p. __ [142 S.Ct. at p. 1916]) in court.


The high court concluded that a PAGA plaintiff loses standing in this situation: “[A]s we see it, PAGA provides no mechanism to enable a court to adjudicate non-individual PAGA claims once an individual claim has been committed to a separate proceeding. Under PAGA’s standing requirement, a plaintiff can maintain non-individual PAGA claims in an action only by virtue of also maintaining an individual claim in that action. See Cal. Lab. Code Ann. §§ 2699(a), (c). When an employee’s own dispute is pared away from a PAGA action, the employee is no different from a member of the general public, and PAGA does not allow such persons to maintain suit. See Kim, 9 Cal.5th at 90 (‘PAGA’s standing requirement was meant to be a departure from the “general public” . . . standing originally allowed’ under other California statutes). As a result, Moriana lacks statutory standing to continue to maintain her non-individual claims in court, and the correct course is to dismiss her remaining claims.” (Viking River, supra, 596 U.S. at p. __ [142 S.Ct. at p. 1925].)


Because “[t]he highest court of each State . . . remains ‘the final arbiter of what is state law’ ” (Montana v. Wyoming (2011) 563 U.S. 368, 378, fn. 5), we are not bound by the high court’s interpretation of California law. (See Viking River, supra, 596 U.S. at pp. [142 S.Ct. at p. 1925] (conc. opn. of Sotomayor, J.) [“Of course, if this Court’s understanding of state law is wrong, California courts, in an appropriate case, will have the last word.”].) And although the high court’s interpretations may serve as persuasive authority in cases involving a parallel federal constitutional provision or statutory scheme (cf., e.g., Raven v. Deukmejian (1990) 52 Cal.3d 336, 353; People v. Teresinski (1982) 30 Cal.3d 822, 835–836), Viking River does not interpret any federal provision or statute similar to PAGA.


Where, as here, a cause of action is based on a state statute, standing is a matter of statutory interpretation. (Kim, supra, 9 Cal.5th at p. 83.) “We review questions of statutory construction de novo.” (California Building Industry Assn. v. State Water Resources Control Bd. (2018) 4 Cal.5th 1032, 1041.)


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This court case S274671 retrieved on September 22, 2023, from courts.ca.gov is part of the public domain. The court-created documents are works of the federal government, and under copyright law, are automatically placed in the public domain and may be shared without legal restriction.