Bradstreet v. Wong, 161 Cal. App. 4th 1440 (2008)

Toha Quan and Anna Wong owned the capital stock and served as corporate officers or directors of three San Francisco garment manufacturing companies (the “Wins Corporations”). For several months during the summer of 2001, the Wins Corporations failed to meet their payroll obligations, and the owners encouraged the employees to continue working without pay. After the Labor Commissioner paid wage claims from an account established pursuant to Labor Code § 2675.5, the Commissioner filed this lawsuit against the owners, seeking to hold them personally liable for unpaid wages owed by the bankrupt Wins Corporations. Following the California Supreme Court’s opinion in Reynolds v. Bement, 36 Cal. 4th 1075 (2005), the trial court held that Quan and Wong could not be held personally liable for the employer’s unpaid wages and related penalties. The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment in favor of Quan and Wong. See also Costco Wholesale Corp. v. Superior Court, 161 Cal. App. 4th 488 (2008) (employer would not be irreparably harmed by production of redacted version of letter from employer’s counsel regarding alleged misclassification of managers).