HomeEmploymentNinth Circuit Applies Adolph, Vacating Decrease Courtroom’s Dismissal of Worker’s Nonindividual PAGA...

Ninth Circuit Applies Adolph, Vacating Decrease Courtroom’s Dismissal of Worker’s Nonindividual PAGA Claims


On February 12, 2024, the Ninth Circuit in Johnson v. Lowe’s House Facilities, LLC, 93 F.4th 459 (ninth Cir. 2024) vacated a district courtroom’s dismissal of a former worker’s nonindividual PAGA claims and remanded the nonindividual claims to permit the district courtroom to use California legislation as interpreted in Adolph v. Uber Techs., Inc., 14 Cal. fifth 1104 (2023) (“Adolph”).

The plaintiff, a former worker of Lowe’s House Facilities, LLC, introduced putative class claims for alleged violations of the California Labor Code on behalf of herself and different Lowe’s workers, in addition to a declare below California’s Personal Attorneys Common Act of 2004 (“PAGA”). The plaintiff signed a pre-dispute employment contract that contained an arbitration clause, and the employer filed a movement to compel arbitration of the plaintiff’s claims.

On September 21, 2022, the district courtroom sided with the employer, issuing an order compelling arbitration of the plaintiff’s particular person claims below PAGA, and dismissing the remaining nonindividual PAGA claims. On the time, this was thought of a direct software of the US Supreme Courtroom’s June 2022 choice in Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana, 596 U.S. 639 (2022) (“Viking River”). Nonetheless, in mild of the California Supreme Courtroom’s latest choice in Adolph, the plaintiff appealed, and the Ninth Circuit granted evaluate.

On attraction, the plaintiff argued that the California Supreme Courtroom choice in Adolph corrected Viking River’s interpretation of PAGA, holding {that a} PAGA plaintiff can arbitrate their particular person PAGA declare whereas concurrently keep their non-individual PAGA claims in courtroom.

The employer took the place that Adolph was inconsistent with Viking River, arguing {that a} state courtroom could not interpret state legislation in such a way that it conflicts with federal legislation.

The Ninth Circuit disagreed, holding that whereas the district courtroom correctly compelled the plaintiff to arbitrate her particular person PAGA declare, the order with respect to the nonindividual PAGA claims was incorrect. The Ninth Circuit in the end vacated the dismissal of the plaintiff’s nonindividual PAGA claims and remanding to the district courtroom to use Adolph.

In its opinion, the Ninth Circuit cited to Justice Sotomayor’s opinion in Viking River that “if this Courtroom’s understanding of state legislation is mistaken, California courts, in an acceptable case, could have the final phrase.” As such, the Ninth Circuit held that nothing in Adolph was inconsistent with the federal legislation articulated in Viking River.

This ruling confirms that nonindividual PAGA claims will possible be stayed pending the arbitration of particular person PAGA claims, even in federal courtroom.

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