While the Stakes At Issue In Actions Before the DLSE Continue to Grow, So Do The Deterrents And Obstacles to Pursuing Appeals of DLSE Orders in Court
Last week, the DLSE dropped a bomb. On April 3, 2014 the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (“DLSE”) issued a News Release on its website with the tag line “California Labor Commissioner orders Southern California Company to return over $336,000 to janitorial workers for unpaid wages.” The order, which also imposed over $33,000 in penalty assessments, addressed claims of wage and meal/rest break violations on behalf of roughly 115 hourly workers over a three year period. Setting aside the merits of the action, a liability finding of that magnitude in court would ordinarily result in the employer running to appeal. But, the chances of an appeal are considerably lower here because the liability finding was issued by the DLSE.
Why don’t more employers appeal adverse DLSE Decisions? Historically, employers facing adverse orders, decisions, or awards of from the DLSE wouldn’t appeal those decisions in court for reasons that have little to do with the merits of their would-be de novo appeal, such as:
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