Patel v. Chavez, 85 Cal. App. 5th 712 (2022)

Manuel Chavez was employed as an on-site hotel property manager by DTWO & E, Inc. and Stuart Union, LLC from 2002 to 2016. Chavez alleged he was paid less than the minimum wage and that the employers committed wage theft. In 2017, the Labor Commissioner issued two order, decision or awards (ODA’s) finding in favor of Chavez and ordered Stuart Union to pay $235,000. Stuart Union brought a procedurally defective appeal pursuant to Labor Code Section 98.2 and PIIC (the insurance company) posted a bond under protest. The Court of Appeal affirmed several orders in favor of Chavez, including a dismissal in the entirety, finding that the appeal was invalid. After PIIC refused to release the bond to Chavez, Chavez filed a motion with the trial court, which entered judgment against the employer and PIIC as surety.

In this appeal, the employer claimed the trial court lacked jurisdiction to release the bond or enter judgment. The Court of Appeal rejected the argument that the proceedings should have been stayed pending the appeal because “[t]he pendency of an appeal does not stay enforcement of a money judgment absent an undertaking.” An undertaking is a separate bond that must be posted that ranges between 1.5 to 2 times the amount of the judgment; however, in this case, the employer only posted a bond in the amount of the judgment itself. The Court, rejecting the employer’s second argument that the trial court lacked jurisdiction because the section 98.2 appeal was invalid, held that while the posting of a bond is a jurisdictional prerequisite to a section 98.2 appeal, the reverse (i.e., a valid section 98.2 appeal is a jurisdictional prerequisite for a court to issue orders regarding such a bond) is “not necessarily true.” See also Adanna Car Wash Corp. v. Gomez, 2023 WL ___ (Cal. Ct. App. 2023)(employer’s posting of licensing bond does not satisfy appeal bond requirement under section 98.2).

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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; www.jurispub.com), 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.