Zakaryan v. The Men's Warehouse, Inc.Annotate this Case
If an employee brings a solitary Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA) claim, a trial court may not split that claim, sending the employee to arbitration (when he has agreed to it) to recover his underpaid wages but retaining jurisdiction to award the additional, statutorily prescribed amounts.
The Court of Appeal held that splitting a PAGA claim in this manner was both legally impermissible and inconsistent with labor and arbitration law. The court explained that where, as here, the employee-plaintiff elected to file a solitary PAGA claim, splitting that claim into two effectively rewrites his complaint into one asserting an individual claim for underpaid wages (which is shunted to arbitration) and a PAGA claim (which is not). Accordingly, the court held that the trial court properly denied the motion to compel arbitration in this case and affirmed the judgment.