Marquez v. City of Long BeachAnnotate this Case
Plaintiffs filed a class action complaint alleging causes of action for violations of the Labor Code and the Industrial Welfare Commission's (IWC) wage orders based on the City's alleged failure to pay workers employed as pages and recreation leader specialists wages at or above the statewide minimum wage. On appeal, plaintiffs challenged the trial court's dismissal of their action after it sustained without leave to amend the City's demurrer.
The Court of Appeal held that legislation setting a statewide minimum wage, generally applicable to both private and public employees, addresses the state's interest in protecting the health and welfare of workers by ensuring they can afford the necessities of life for themselves and their families. Therefore, the Legislature may constitutionally exercise authority over minimum wages, despite the constitutional reservation of authority in charter cities to legislate as to their municipal affairs. In this case, the court held that the trial court erred in sustaining the City's demurrer where the state minimum wage law was designed to address a statewide concern for the health and welfare of workers and was reasonably related to its purpose. Furthermore, the application of the minimum wage requirement did not unconstitutionally impair the memorandum of understanding between plaintiffs and the City.