Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Bright v. 99ó Only Stores

November 12, 2010

EUGINA BRIGHT, PLAINTIFF AND APPELLANT,
v.
99Ó ONLY STORES, DEFENDANT AND RESPONDENT.



APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Luis Lavin, Judge. Reversed. (Los Angeles County Super. Ct. No. BC415527).

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kriegler, J.

CERTIFIED FOR PUBLICATION

The Labor Code*fn1 provides that the labor conditions set by the Industrial Welfare Commission (Commission) shall be the standard labor conditions for employees. A Commission wage order provides that employees shall be provided suitable seating, if reasonable, during the performance of their duties. The Labor Code also establishes the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (§ 2698 et seq.), which allows an employee to bring an action for civil penalties for violations of provisions of the Labor Code, except those provisions for which a civil penalty is provided. (§ 2699, subds. (f), (g)(1).)

The question in this case is whether an employee may state a cause of action for civil penalties under the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 for violation of the suitable seating order of the Commission. We answer that question in the affirmative.

In this action for penalties for violation of the Labor Code, plaintiff and appellant Eugina Bright appeals from a judgment of dismissal entered after the trial court sustained the demurrer of defendant and respondent 99ó Only Stores to Bright's class action complaint. Bright sought civil penalties under section 2699, subdivision (f), for violation of section 1198 in that 99ó Only Stores failed to provide its employees with suitable seating under Commission wage order No. 7-2001, subdivision 14 (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 8, § 11070, subd. 14) ("Wage Order No. 7, subdivision 14" or the "suitable seating requirement").*fn2

On appeal, Bright contends the trial court erred in ruling that: (1) violations of Wage Order No. 7, subdivision 14 are not violations of section 1198; and (2) civil penalties under section 2699, subdivision (f) are not available, because Commission wage order No. 7-2001 has its own penalty provision. We conclude violations of Wage Order No. 7, subdivision 14 are violations of section 1198 and civil penalties under section 2699, subdivision (f) are available. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment.

PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Allegations of Complaint

In "Class Action Complaint for Violation of the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 ([§] 2698 et seq.)," filed June 11, 2009, Bright alleged she was employed as a cashier at 99ó Only Stores. The 99ó Only Stores did not provide its cashiers with seats, despite the fact that the nature of the work reasonably permitted the use of seats. In the complaint's sole cause of action, Bright alleged 99ó Only Stores violated section 1198 by failing to provide Bright*fn3 with a seat in violation of Wage Order No. 7, subdivision 14. Bright alleged she satisfied all conditions for filing the complaint, including exhaustion of administrative remedies. Bright sought penalties against 99ó Only Stores under section 2699, subdivision (f), attorney fees, and costs.

Demurrer to the Complaint

The 99ó Only Stores contended the complaint failed to allege facts sufficient to state a cause of action because: (1) a violation of Wage Order No. 7, subdivision 14 is not a violation of section 1198; and (2) even if violations of Wage Order No. 7, subdivision 14 are unlawful under section 1198, civil penalties are not available under section 2699, subdivision (f), because Commission wage order No. 7-2001 has its own penalty provision.

Trial Court's Ruling

The trial court sustained the demurrer without leave to amend, dismissed the complaint with prejudice, and entered judgment in favor of 99รณ Only Stores. The court ruled a failure to provide suitable seating is not a violation of section 1198, because such failure is not a condition "prohibited" by Wage Order No. 7, subdivision 14. Even if a failure to provide suitable seating is a prohibited condition of labor, civil penalties are not recoverable under section 2699, subdivision (f), because Commission Wage Order No. 7-2001 contains its own civil penalty provision in subdivision 20 ("subdivision 20"), which ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.