California Courts Continue Barring PAGA Arbitration

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California courts of appeal continue to deny arbitration for PAGA claims (the Private Attorney’s General Act of 2004 [Labor Code section 2698, et seq.]) In Tanguilig v. Bloomingdale’s (2016) 5 Cal.App.5th 665, and Hernandez v. Ross Store (2016) 7 Cal.App.5th 171, the Court of Appeal applied and amplified Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC (2014) 59 Cal.4th 348, by finding that employee-asserted Labor Code violations upon which PAGA claims are based are not subject to mandatory arbitration.
Takeaway: these cases stand for the rule that a California plaintiff asserting a claim under PAGA cannot be sent out of court to arbitrate any portion of their PAGA claim as a precondition to pursuing a PAGA action. The State of California is the real party in interest and California has not agreed to arbitrate these representative claims.