Second District Articulates “Clear and Unmistakable” Waiver Standard for Labor Code Section 227.3


_DSC9576 (Photo credit: treyguinn)

In a wage and hour class action, the Second District articulated today a “clear and unmistakable” standard for waiver of right to immediate payment of vested vacation time under the collective-bargaining exception to Labor Code section 227.3.  Choate v. Celite Corporation, No. B239160, __ Cal. App. 4th __ (2d Dist. May 2, 2013).  However because Choate  was the first case to define this standard, the Court found defendant did not act unreasonably, and reversed waiting time penalties under Labor Code section 203:

Although we agree with the trial court that this is the appropriate standard, this is the first case to define the standard for waiver under section 227.3. Plaintiffs argue that Saustez decided this issue, but it did not. (Saustez, supra, 31 Cal.3d 774.) Celite’s good faith reliance on a different waiver standard was accordingly reasonable, particularly in light of the language in Firestone supporting that standard. [Internal citation omitted.]  That Celite’s position did not prevail does not mean that its position was unreasonable. (8 Cal. Code Regs., § 13520.)

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