Lu v. Hawaiian Gardens Casino, Inc., 2010 WL 3081272 (Cal. S. Ct. 2010)

Louie Hung Kwei Lu, a card dealer at Hawaiian Gardens Casino, filed this class action challenging the casino’s tip-pooling policy that required dealers to set aside 15 to 20 percent of the tips they received, which the casino distributed to other employees who provided service to casino customers. The Supreme Court granted review in this case to determine the narrow issue of whether Cal. Lab. Code § 351 provides employees with a private right of action or whether, instead, the labor commissioner is charged with enforcing the statute. The Supreme Court held there is no private right of action under the statute but observed that a common law claim for conversion may be available to employees under appropriate circumstances. See also Gutierrez v. California Commerce Club, 2010 WL 2991875 (Cal. Ct. App. 2010) (dismissal of wage-and-hour class action on demurrer is reversed because it was “premature to make determinations pertaining to class suitability on demurrer”).