Employee Cannot Be Compelled to Arbitrate Individual Claims If Also Asserting PAGA Claims

Timothy Kowal, Esq.
  •  
December 7, 2020

So holds Provost v. Yourmechanic, Inc., No. D076569 (D4d1 Oct. 15, 2020), where an employee alleging misclassification and wage-and-hour claims, both individually and as a PAGA representative, defeated employer's motion to compel arbitration.

The Fourth Appellate District, Division One, explained that the state is the real party in interest in all PAGA claims, and the state never consents to arbitration. And several recent cases, including a 2020 Cal. Supreme Court case, Kim v. Reins International California, Inc. (2020) 9 Cal.5th 73, have held the threshold question -- whether the plaintiff is an "aggrieved employee" with standing to bring the representative PAGA claim -- may not be split and arbitrated separately.