Williams v. Superior Court

In a Private Attorney General Act suit, the plaintiff is entitled, as a matter of course, to discovery of identification information of all employees affected by the employer’s alleged violations of wage and hour laws.  At the very outset of this PAGA suit, the plaintiff employee sought to compel the employer to provide a list of all its non-exempt employees statewide and provide contact information for those employees.  This decision holds that the plaintiff is entitled to that discovery without any showing of good cause.  Discovery of contact information of persons with knowledge about the claims in issue is standard in California practice.  There is nothing about PAGA suits in particular which would make that general rule inapplicable in a PAGA suit.  A plaintiff filing a PAGA suit need not have any knowledge of how wide-spread the alleged Labor Code violations are before seeking statewide employee contact information since by contacting other employees the plaintiff may learn the scope of the alleged wrongful practice.  It is enough in these circumstances to send the subject employees a notice that their contact information will be given to the plaintiff unless they opt out, together with a protective order against disclosure or use of the contact information for other purposes.

California Supreme Court (Werdegar, J.); July 13, 2017; 2017 WL 2980258


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