Procedural Posture

Procedural Posture

Plaintiff migrant farm workers sought to recover damages from defendant employers for unpaid wages and substandard housing under the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (AWPA), 29 U.S.C.S. § 1800 et seq, and state law.

Overview

The workers provided farm labor in various fruit orchards on a seasonal or temporary basis. After they were not paid for the services performed, the workers filed an action seeking damages under the AWPA. In entering judgment for the workers, the court determined that the employers were subject to liability under the AWPA because they either owned or operated the orchards in question. The evidence showed that the employers violated 29 U.S.C.S. §§ 1822(a), (c), 1821(d)(1), (2). The failure to pay wages and the act of providing substantial housing was intentional; therefore, the employers were liable under 29 U.S.C.S. § 1854(c). Further, the employers were liable under Cal. Lab. Code § 1194 for the unpaid minimum wage, as well as liquidated damages under Cal. Lab. Code § 1194.5. They were also liable for waiting time penalties under Cal. Lab. Code § 203. The court noted that the employers were liable for failing to keep itemized records under Cal. Lab. Code § 1174.5. Finally, one of the employers, as the owner, was liable under Cal. Lab. Code § 1695.7(a)(1) for entering into a contract with an unlicensed farm labor contractor.

Outcome

The court entered judgment in favor of the workers civil litigation lawyer.

Procedural Posture

Appellants sought review of a decision from the United States District Court for the Central District of California, which granted summary judgment in favor of appellee insurer in a claim under the uninsured motorist clause of appellants’ policy.

Overview

Appellants were involved in an automobile accident with a driver who was insured by appellee insurer. Appellants’ personal injury action against the driver was settled, but because appellants were uninsured, the driver filed a separate claim under the uninsured motorist clause of his policy. Appellee’s liability under the uninsured motorist provision was determined by arbitration between appellee and the insured. Appellants brought an action against appellee for “unfair practices” in violation of Cal. Ins. Code § 790.03. The district court granted appellee summary judgment. On appeal, the court affirmed summary judgment. The court held that the arbitration between appellee and their insured driver to determine liability was not a “judicial determination” as required by law and, therefore, appellant lacked standing to file an action.

Outcome

The court affirmed summary judgment for appellee insurer because the arbitration agreement between appellee and their policy holder was not a final judicial determination of the policy holder to allow appellants to file an action against appellee under the applicable statutes.