Tabarrejo v. Superior Court, 2014 WL 7335417 (Cal. Ct. App. 2014)

Manuel Tabarrejo was employed as a caregiver by Princess Retirement Homes, Inc. (“PRH”). After Tabarrejo left his employment with PRH, he filed a claim with the Labor Commissioner for unpaid wages and other wage-related claims and was awarded $131,096.77. PRH appealed the Labor Commissioner’s order and posted an undertaking as required by Cal. Lab. Code § 98.2. Tabarrejo moved to dismiss the appeal on the ground that PRH was a suspended corporation that lacked the capacity to sue. The trial court granted Tabarrejo’s motion to dismiss. When PRH failed to pay the amount due to Tabarrejo within 10 days, he asked the court to release the undertaking to him. The trial court concluded that PRH did not have standing to file the appeal and ordered the release of the undertaking to PRH’s owners. The Court of Appeal issued a preemptory writ of mandate directing the trial court to vacate its order granting PRH’s request for return of the cash deposit and to enter a new order denying PRH’s request for return of the cash deposit and granting Tabarrejo’s request to disburse the undertaking to him. Tabarrejo also is to be awarded the costs and attorney’s fees he incurred in connection with this writ proceeding.