Atempa v. PedrazzaniAnnotate this Case
Paolo Pedrazzani was the owner, president, secretary, and director of Pama, Inc. which did business as Via Italia Trattoria (Via Italia), a restaurant in Encinitas. During the time period for which the trial court awarded the civil penalties at issue, Pama employed 71 individuals at Via Italia. Labor Code section 558 (a) provided that an employer "or other person acting on behalf of an employer" who violates or causes a violation of the state's applicable overtime laws shall be subject to a civil penalty. Similarly, section 1197.1 (a) provided that an employer "or other person acting either individually or as an officer, agent, or employee of another person" who pays or causes to pay an employee less than the state's applicable minimum wage shall be subject to a civil penalty. Following a trial, the superior court issued civil penalties against Pedrazzani as the corporate employer's owner as the "other person" who caused violations of these two statutes. The issue on appeal was whether any individual other than the corporate employer can ever be found liable for the civil penalties associated with statutory violations in the payment of wages to a corporate employee where, as here, there is no allegation or finding that the corporate laws have been misused or abused for a wrongful or inequitable purpose. The Court of Appeal modified judgment against Pedrazzani to the extend that civil penalties assessed were not distributed in accordance with the applicable statutory scheme; otherwise, the judgment was affirmed.