In a significant victory for California employers, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently reversed a $102 million award against Walmart, in a suit alleging that the retailer violated the California Labor Code’s wage statement and meal-break provisions. Magadia v. Wal-Mart Associates, Inc., 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 16070 (9th Cir. May 28, 2021).
The Ninth Circuit’s opinion clarified the cognizable harm required to establish Article III standing under California’s Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) and the Labor Code’s wage statement requirements. Most notably:
An employee does not have standing to bring PAGA claims in federal court for alleged Labor Code violations that the employee themselves did not suffer.
As a means of retroactively adjusting an employee’s overtime rate resulting from bonuses, an employer may make lump-sum payments without identifying a corresponding “hourly rate” for those payments on the employee’s wage statements.
A detailed discussion of the Ninth Circuit opinion is available on Jackson Lewis’s California Workplace Law Blog, here: $102 Million Pay Stub, Meal Break Judgment Against Walmart Reversed