Magadia v. Wal-Mart Associates, Inc., No. 19-16184 (9th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed a class action against Walmart, alleging three violations of California Labor Code's wage-statement and meal-break requirements; first, plaintiff alleged that Walmart did not provide adequate pay rate information on its wage statements, Cal. Lab. Code 226(a)(9); second, he claimed that Walmart failed to furnish the pay-period dates with his last paycheck, section 226(a)(6); and third, he asserted that Walmart did not pay adequate compensation for missed meal breaks, section 226.7(c). Plaintiff sought relief under California's Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA).
The Ninth Circuit held that plaintiff lacked standing to bring the meal-break claim because he did not suffer injury himself. The panel explained that PAGA's features diverge from the assignment theory of qui tam injury in Vermont Agency of Nat. Res. V. U.S. ex rel. Stevens, 529 U.S. 765 (2000), and they depart from the traditional criteria of qui tam statutes. In regard to the two wage-statement claims, the panel held that plaintiff had standing but that Walmart did not breach California law. The panel explained that, because Walmart must retroactively calculate the MyShare overtime adjustment based on work from six prior periods, the panel did not consider it an hourly rate "in effect" during the pay period for purposes of section 226(a)(9). Therefore, Walmart complied with the wage statement law here. The panel also held that Walmart's Statements of Final Pay do not violate the wage statement statute.