California Court of Appeals, Fourth District, Second Division
from the Superior Court of Riverside County No. RIC1503952.
Daniel A. Ottolia, Judge. Affirmed.
Farrer & Burrill, Kyle D. Brown, James A. Bowles and
Edward S. McLoughlin for Defendant and Appellant.
Lawyers for Justice, Edwin Aiwazian, Arby Aiwazian and Joanna
Ghosh for Plaintiff and Respondent.
and respondent Roberto Betancourt (Betancourt) sued defendant
and appellant Prudential Overall Supply (Prudential).
Betancourt's complaint sets forth one cause of action:
enforcement of the Labor Code under the Private Attorneys
General Act (PAGA). (Labor Code, § 2698.) Prudential
filed a motion to compel arbitration. The trial court
denied Prudential's motion. Prudential contends the trial
court erred. We affirm the judgment.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
alleged the following in his April 2015 complaint: Betancourt
was employed by Prudential. Betancourt and other Prudential
employees worked over eight hours per day or more than 40
hours per week. Prudential failed to compensate Betancourt
and other employees for all the hours they worked, as well as
for missed breaks and meal periods. Prudential's failure
to pay Betancourt and other Prudential employees for all the
time worked was due to Prudential's “uniform policy
and systematic scheme of wage abuse.”
the sole cause of action, for “Violation of California
Labor Code [section] 2698, et seq., ” a section which
concerns PAGA claims, Betancourt alleges a series of
violations: (1) failure to pay overtime; (2) failure to
provide meal periods; (3) failure to provide rest periods;
(4) failure to pay minimum wage; (5) failure to pay timely
wages upon termination; (6) failure to pay timely wages
during employment; (7) failure to complete accurate wage
statements; (8) failure to keep complete and accurate payroll
records; and (9) failure to reimburse necessary
business-related expenses and costs.
“Prayer for Relief” section of the complaint,
Betancourt requests “civil penalties pursuant to
California Labor Code sections 2699(a), (f) and (g) plus
costs/expenses and attorneys' fees for violation of
California Labor Code sections 201 [wages due upon discharge
or layoff], 202 [wages due upon resignation], 203 [wages not
promptly paid], 204 [semimonthly wages], 226(a), 226.7, 510,
512(a), 1174(d), 1194, 1197, 1197.1, 1198, 2800 and 2802,
” as well as “such other and further relief as
the Court may deem equitable and appropriate.”
MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION
filed a motion to compel arbitration. Prudential asserted
Betancourt, on January 30, 2006, signed an Agreement to
Arbitrate (the Agreement), which provided, “‘I
understand that it is my obligation to make use of the
Company's Fair Treatment Process (‘FTP') and to
submit to final and binding arbitration any and all claims
and disputes that are related in any way to my employment or
the termination of my employment with Prudential Overall
Supply.” The Agreement further provides that Betancourt
agreed “‘to forego any right to bring claims on a
representative or class member basis.'”
argued that all of Betancourt's claims related to
employment and therefore were subject to arbitration pursuant
to the Agreement. Prudential also asserted that
Betancourt's PAGA claim was not exempt from arbitration
because it was not really a PAGA action. Prudential asserted
Betancourt's action, in substance, was a standard wage
and hour case, and therefore was subject to arbitration.
Prudential further noted that Betancourt was seeking remedies
that did not fall within a PAGA cause of action, such as
business expenses, unpaid wages, interest, ...