Williams v. Superior Court, 236 Cal. App. 4th 1151 (2015)

Michael Williams was an employee of Marshalls of CA in Costa Mesa, California. After slightly more than a year of employment, Williams brought a representative action against Marshalls under the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”), alleging Marshalls had failed to provide its employees with meal and rest breaks, accurate wage statements, reimbursements for necessary business-related expenses and to pay all earned wages during employment. During discovery, Williams served special interrogatories seeking the names and contact information of all nonexempt Marshalls employees in California who had worked for the company in the previous two years. Marshalls objected, and the trial court ordered Marshalls to produce contact information only for the employees who had worked at the Costa Mesa store, denying contact information for employees who worked at the other 128 Marshalls stores in California. Williams filed a petition for writ of mandate compelling the trial court to vacate its discovery order and to enter a new order granting Williams’ motion to compel production of a list of all employees statewide. The Court of Appeal denied the petition, holding that discovery of Marshalls’s employees’ contact information statewide is premature and that the employees’ privacy interests outweigh Williams’ need for immediate disclosure of such information – “The courts will not lightly bestow statewide discovery power to a litigant who has only a parochial claim.” See also Munoz v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., 2015 WL 3958999 (Cal. Ct. App. 2015) (trial court’s order denying plaintiffs’ motion for class certification and granting Chipotle’s motion to deny class certification is a nonappealable order because the PAGA claims remain pending in the trial court); Allen v. Bedolla, 2015 WL 3461537 (9th Cir. 2015) (district court properly denied objectors’ untimely motion to intervene, but failed to satisfy the criteria for determining substantive fairness of settlement of class action).