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Gomez v. The Regents of the University of Cal (CA4/1 D077181.4/23/21) Wage and Hour/PAGA 

Guivini Gomez is a former employee of the Regents of the University of California (Regents).  She sued the Regents, as the named plaintiff in a purported class action, claiming the Regents failed to pay her the required minimum wage for all hours she worked.  However, she does not allege that the Regents set her hourly wage below the minimum wage as established by California law.  Instead, she contends the Regents’ time-keeping procedures of rounding hours and automatically deducting 30 minute meal breaks resulted in her not receiving the minimum wage for all hours she actually worked.  In addition to claiming the Regents did not pay her the minimum wage, Gomez also sought penalties under the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004, Labor Code section 2698 et seq. (PAGA).

The superior court sustained the Regents’ demurrer without leave to amend and entered judgment in their favor.  Gomez appeals, arguing the superior court erred in concluding that the minimum wage laws do not apply to the Regents and that she could not seek penalties against the Regents under PAGA as a matter of law.