Kao v. Joy HolidayAnnotate this Case
Kao was employed by Joy Holiday, a travel tour company. Kao had come to the U.S., lived with the company’s owners, and had worked for a net “allowance” of $1,700 per month for 11 months while waiting for his work visa. After he obtained that visa, he continued to work for the company until his termination. He sued, alleging breach of contract and that his monthly salary of $2,000 to $2,500 was below statutory standards for work in excess of 40 hours a week. (29 U.S.C. 201.; Lab. Code, 1194.2.) The court ruled against Kao on his breach of contract and statutory claims but awarded damages for unpaid labor under the equitable doctrine of quantum meruit. The court of appeals reversed, finding that Kao is entitled to compensation under the wage statutes, making an equitable remedy unnecessary. The court noted the parties’ express agreement establishing Kao's work requirements and compensation and concluded that the trial court erred in finding that he was not entitled to itemized wage statements and that the delay in paying his final compensation was excusable.