Plaintiffs, security guards at Oracle Park in San Francisco, sued San Francisco Baseball Associates LLC (the Giants) for allegedly violating California Labor Code section 201, which requires that if an employer discharges an employee, the wages earned and unpaid at the time of discharge are due and payable immediately. The guards claimed they are discharged after every Giants homestand, at the end of the baseball season, and after other events at the park, and they are entitled to receive their unpaid wages immediately after each such discharge. The Giants denied that the security guards are discharged on those occasions, and contended that Labor Code section 204, which generally requires semimonthly payment of employees’ wages, applied to the guards.
Plaintiff worked as a driver for Defendant transportation company. Plaintiff filed a class action complaint against Defendant, alleging that it failed to pay overtime, provide meal and rest breaks, reimburse business expenses, provide accurate and complete wage statements, or pay final wages in a timely manner. Plaintiff filed a consolidated first amended complaint, alleging seven causes of action for Labor Code violations and an Unfair Competition Law (UCL) claim. Plaintiff brought his claims as an individual and putative class representative seeking damages, and also in a representative capacity under the Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) seeking civil penalties for Labor Code violations.
Plaintiff was a former employee of an automobile dealership. As a condition of his employment, Plaintiff signed an agreement which set forth a number of conditions of employment, including consent to drug testing and permission to contact former employers, as well as a provision making the employment at will. The agreement also contained a paragraph governing dispute resolution, which required both parties to submit employment disputes to binding arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act, in conformity with the procedures of the California Arbitration Act. After leaving his position, Plaintiff filed an administrative wage claim with the Labor Commissioner for unpaid vacation pay pursuant to Labor Code section 98 et seq. He alleged he was entitled to unpaid vacation wages for 63 days. The filing of such a claim is the first step toward obtaining a Berman hearing. Defendant petitioned the superior court to compel arbitration of the wage claim and to dismiss the pending administrative action, arguing that Plaintiff waived his right to a Berman hearing in the arbitration agreement.