Court sets "global" mediation of DCH wage theft dispute

August 6, 2015 – Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Emilie Elias today considered the petition for coordination filed by the firm on behalf of client Candace Holzer in her case against auto dealership giant DCH/Lithia Motors for wage theft under California statutory law.  Currently pending are seven separate court cases filed by different employees against one or another of the various DCH entities and dealerships, in addition to a growing number of private individual arbitrations, for similar wage and hour violations.  In a proceeding that lasted most of the morning, Judge Elias agreed with the firm that its follow-on case for employee Ryan Dale (who says DCH/Lithia coerced him and others into signing “settlement” agreements over these claims without the benefit of counsel and in violation of law) should be deemed an “included action” in any coordination.  She retained jurisdiction over all such cases, stayed proceedings in them, and allowed the parties to commence a mediation of all claims before one mediator.  Judge Elias set a deadline of March of next year to conclude that mediation.  A court order is pending.