Friday, June 4, 2010

Plaintiffs File Petition For Rehearing Of California Supreme Court Decision Clarifying Who Can Be Liable As An "Employer"

By Scott K. Dauscher and Christopher S. Andre

As we previously reported here, on May 20, 2010, by a unanimous decision in Martinez v. Corky N. Combs, the California Supreme Court clarified the standard courts must use to determine who is liable as an "employer" for violations of wage and hour laws embodied in Industrial Welfare Commission ("IWC") Wage Orders, including claims for unpaid or underpaid wages.  In that case, the plaintiffs sought to hold customers of the employer liable for their claims for allegedly unpaid wages.  The trial court, the Court of Appeal, and the California Supreme Court all rejected the plaintiffs' arguments.  

Today, the plaintiffs filed in the California Supreme Court a petition for a rehearing of the case.  Because the Supreme Court's decision was a unanimous decision and because petitions for rehearing are seldom granted, we think the Court will very likely deny the petition and allow its May 20, 2010 decision to stand.  In any event, we will report here any further significant developments.