Diaz v. Grill Concepts Services, Inc.Annotate this Case
Pursuant to Labor Code section 203, subd. (a), 1194, subd. (a), an employer that does not pay its employees the wage required by law when they quit or are fired is liable for both the underpayment of wages and, if the failure to pay is "willful," a "waiting time" penalty of up to 30 days' wages. The Court of Appeals held that an employer's failure to pay is "willful" when the employer (a) suspects the required wage has gone up but continues paying the old wage after halfheartedly investigating its suspicions, and (b) later makes an unreasonable argument that the wage law is unconstitutionally vague. The court also held that a trial court does not have the discretion, on equitable grounds, to relieve an employer from having to pay waiting time penalties. In this case, the court affirmed the trial court's order finding that Grill Concepts was liable for waiting time penalties.