California Supreme Court grants review in Lu v. Hawaiian Gardens Casino, Inc.

Greatsealcal100The Supreme Court has granted review in Lu v. Hawaiian Gardens Casino, Inc.  The docket indicates that review has been granted on the limited issue of whether a private right of action exists under Labor Code section 351.  In Lu, the Court of Appeal was called upon to determine whether plaintiffs challenging a tip-pooling arrangment could bring a private right of action under Labor Code section 351.  The Court of Appeal concluded that Labor Code section 351 did not create a private right of action. The Court of Appeal then noted that such Labor Code sections could nevertheless serve as predicates for the “unlawful” conduct prong under the UCL:

Nevertheless, Lu alleged a cause of action under the UCL for violation of Labor Code sections 351 and 450. “ ‘Virtually any law -- federal, state or local -- can serve as a predicate for an action under Business and Professions Code section 17200.’ [Citation.]” (Ticconi v. Blue Shield of California Life & Health Ins. Co. (2008) 160 Cal.App.4th 528, 539; cf. Louis v. McCormick & Schmick Restaurant Corp. (C.D.Cal. 2006) 460 F.Supp.2d 1153, 1156, fn. 5; Matoff v. Brinker Restaurant Corp.supra, 439 F.Supp.2d at pp. 1037-1038.) The UCL is a proper avenue for Lu to challenge violations of these Labor Code provisions. Therefore, we turn to the substantive question of whether the tip pool procedure here violates the Labor Code sections enumerated in the complaint such as would support UCL causes of action.

(Slip op., at p. 11.)  My original post on Lu is here.  Lu was the first in a group of tip-pooling decisions that were all decided in the last few months.  See a recap here.