California Labor Code and Out-of-State Business Leaders

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Last week I wrote about California Labor Code § 558.1 which provides that an owner, director, officer, or managing agent of an employer (a “person acting on behalf of an employer”) Perhaps liable “as employer” for breaching or causing to be breached any provision regulating minimum wages or hours and days of work in any order of the Industrial Welfare Commission, or breaching or causing breach of Sections 203, 226 , 226.7, 1193.6, 1194 or 2802 of the labor code.

Presumably, these violations must be related to employment in California. But what if the owner, director, officer or managing agent of the employer is not in California? According to U.S. District Court Judge Dolly M. Gee, “the mere fact that an individual’s job title may expose him or her to potential liability under California law in the abstract does not mean that , without any minimum contact, it is subject to the personal protection of the California courts jurisdiction”. Duong vs. Groundhog Enterprises, Inc., no. 2020 WL 2046397, at *3 (CD Cal. 7 February 2020). According to Judge Gee, “courts may have personal jurisdiction over corporate officers arising from their duties as officers only where the officers are ‘the directing mind behind the wrongful conduct or the central figure in the impugned corporate activity. ‘company “. ” Identifier. [In re Boon Glob. Ltd., 923 F.3d 643 (9th Cir. 2019)] at 651 (citing Facebook, Inc. v. Power Ventures, Inc.844 F.3d 1058, 1069 (9th Cir. 2016)).” Judge Otis D. Wright, II also applied a “directing mind” test for personal jurisdiction in a case seeking to impose liability under 558.1 Green v. Hepta Run, Inc., 2020 WL 1638273, at *3 (CD Cal. Apr. 2, 2020).

© 2010-2022 Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 206

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