Sciborski v. Pacific Bell Directory, 205 Cal. App. 4th 1152 (2012)

Annie Sciborski sued her former employer, Pacific Bell Directory, after it deducted approximately $19,000 from her wages to recover a $36,000 sales commission that had been paid to her. After a three-day trial, the jury found Pacific Bell’s wage deductions violated the Labor Code and resulted in Sciborski’s constructive discharge in violation of public policy. On appeal, Pacific Bell asserted that Sciborski’s claims were preempted by federal law under section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act. The Court of Appeal rejected Pacific Bell’s argument after concluding the claims were not preempted because they arose from independent state law and did not require the interpretation of a collective bargaining agreement.