In June 2022, the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Viking River Cruises v. Moriana allowed PAGA claims to be split into individual and non-individual (representative) claims, and consequently, under a valid enforceable arbitration agreement, employers could compel arbitration of individual PAGA claims. The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling established that once individual claims are compelled to arbitration, the remaining non-individual claims should be dismissed for lack of standing. Justice Sotomayor, in her concurring opinion, warned that if the Court’s interpretation of California law as to standing was incorrect, the final authority would rest with the California courts and legislature.
In Adolph v. Uber, the California court held that PAGA only requires two elements for standing: that the plaintiff is an employee and has suffered a Labor Code violation by their employer. As a result, if a plaintiff files a PAGA action with both individual and non-individual claims and arbitration is compelled for the individual claims, the plaintiff retains standing to litigate the non-individual claims in court. This decision could lead to representative PAGA claims being stayed pending arbitration outcomes. Employers should consult with counsel to continue navigating the rough seas of PAGA litigation.
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