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Montano v. Wet Seal Retail, Inc.

California Court of Appeals, Second District, Fourth Division

January 7, 2015

ELIZABETH MONTANO, Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
THE WET SEAL RETAIL, INC., Defendant and Appellant.

[As modified Jan. 13, 2015.]

APPEAL from an order of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, No. BC472230 Deirdre Hill, Judge.

Page 1215

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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COUNSEL

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, Ryan D. McCortney and Jason M. Guyser for Defendant and Appellant.

Scott Cole & Associates, Matthew R. Bainer and Molly A. DeSario for Plaintiff and Respondent.

Page 1218

OPINION

EPSTEIN, P. J.

The Wet Seal Retail, Inc. (Wet Seal) appeals from the denial of its motion to compel arbitration of this wage and hour action brought by employee Elizabeth Montano. Wet Seal also challenges the grant of Montano’s motion to compel discovery responses. We affirm the order denying the motion to compel arbitration and dismiss the challenge to the discovery order as nonappealable.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL SUMMARY

In October 2011, Montano filed this putative class action against Wet Seal, alleging that it failed to offer all required meal and rest periods to its California non-exempt retail employees; failed to provide all regular and overtime pay when due or when employment terminated; and failed to provide accurate semi-monthly itemized wage statements, in violation of the Labor and Business and Professions Codes, Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Order No. 7, and Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations. She brought this action on behalf of herself and, as a class action, on behalf of all persons similarly situated and damaged by the alleged conduct during the specified time period. Her complaint included a representative claim under the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA) (Lab. Code, § 2699).[1]

Montano propounded various discovery requests to Wet Seal, which responded with objections but no substantive information. After an unsuccessful effort to meet and confer, Montano filed a motion to compel discovery responses. Before the hearing date for that motion, Wet Seal moved to compel arbitration of Montano’s individual claims and to stay the action pending completion of arbitration.

Wet Seal’s motion to compel arbitration was based on a “Mutual Agreement to Arbitrate Claims” (arbitration agreement) signed by Montano, which provided: “You and the Company hereby agree that any and all disputes, claims or controversies arising out of or relating to this Agreement, the employment relationship between the parties, the termination of this Agreement or the termination of the employment relationship, that are not ...


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