Arias v. Superior Court, 2009 WL 1838973 (Cal. S. Ct. 2009)

Jose Arias sued his former employer, Angelo Dairy, for a number of alleged violations of the California Labor Code, including five claims that he asserted on behalf of himself as well as other current and former employees under the Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”). The trial court granted the employer’s motion to strike all five claims that Arias purported to assert on behalf of himself and others on the ground that he had failed to comply with the pleading requirements of a class action (Code Civ. Proc. § 382). The Court of Appeal held that all causes of action brought in a representative capacity alleging violations of the UCL (with the exception of the claim asserting a violation of the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”)) were subject to the class action pleading requirements. The California Supreme Court affirmed, holding that although Proposition 64 (passed by the voters in 2004) requires that a private party asserting a UCL claim in a representative capacity satisfy the class action requirements, an aggrieved employee need not satisfy those requirements in order to assert a representative action under PAGA. Cf. Amalgamated Transit Union v. Superior Court¸ 2009 WL 1838972 (Cal. S. Ct. 2009) (labor union could not bring a representative action under PAGA either as an assignee or association whose members had suffered actual injury); In re Tobacco II Cases, 46 Cal. 4th 298 (2009) (class action standing requirements for UCL claim need only be satisfied by class representatives and not unnamed class members); Sanders Constr. Co. v. Cerda, 2009 WL 1844280 (Cal. Ct. App. 2009) (employees of unlicensed subcontractor may assert wage claims against general contractor pursuant to Labor Code § 2750.5).

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Photo of Tony Oncidi Tony Oncidi

Anthony J. Oncidi is the co-chair of the Labor & Employment Law Department and heads the West Coast Labor & Employment group in the firm’s Los Angeles office.

Tony represents employers and management in all aspects of labor relations and employment law, including…

Anthony J. Oncidi is the co-chair of the Labor & Employment Law Department and heads the West Coast Labor & Employment group in the firm’s Los Angeles office.

Tony represents employers and management in all aspects of labor relations and employment law, including litigation and preventive counseling, wage and hour matters, including class actions, wrongful termination, employee discipline, Title VII and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, executive employment contract disputes, sexual harassment training and investigations, workplace violence, drug testing and privacy issues, Sarbanes-Oxley claims and employee raiding and trade secret protection. A substantial portion of Tony’s practice involves the defense of employers in large class actions, employment discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination litigation in state and federal court as well as arbitration proceedings, including FINRA matters.

Tony is recognized as a leading lawyer by such highly respected publications and organizations as the Los Angeles Daily JournalThe Hollywood Reporter, and Chambers USA, which gives him the highest possible rating (“Band 1”) for Labor & Employment.  According to Chambers USA, clients say Tony is “brilliant at what he does… He is even keeled, has a high emotional IQ, is a great legal writer and orator, and never gives up.” Other clients report:  “Tony has an outstanding reputation” and he is “smart, cost effective and appropriately aggressive.” Tony is hailed as “outstanding,” particularly for his “ability to merge top-shelf lawyerly advice with pragmatic business acumen.” He is highly respected in the industry, with other commentators lauding him as a “phenomenal strategist” and “one of the top employment litigators in the country.”

“Tony is the author of the treatise titled Employment Discrimination Depositions (Juris Pub’g 2020;, co-author of Proskauer on Privacy (PLI 2020), and, since 1990, has been a regular columnist for the official publication of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the State Bar of California and the Los Angeles Daily Journal.

Tony has been a featured guest on Fox 11 News and CBS News in Los Angeles. He has been interviewed and quoted by leading national media outlets such as The National Law JournalBloomberg News, The New York Times, and Newsweek and Time magazines. Tony is a frequent speaker on employment law topics for large and small groups of employers and their counsel, including the Society for Human Resource Management (“SHRM”), PIHRA, the National CLE Conference, National Business Institute, the Employment Round Table of Southern California (Board Member), the Council on Education in Management, the Institute for Corporate Counsel, the State Bar of California, the California Continuing Education of the Bar Program and the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills Bar Associations. He has testified as an expert witness regarding wage and hour issues as well as the California Fair Employment and Housing Act and has served as a faculty member of the National Employment Law Institute. He has served as an arbitrator in an employment discrimination matter.

Tony is an appointed Hearing Examiner for the Los Angeles Police Commission Board of Rights and has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law and a guest lecturer at USC Law School and a guest lecturer at UCLA Law School.