Brian Cardile reports in the Daily Journal about a question Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger asked at last week’s argument in ZB, N.A. v. Superior Court that has led to a supplemental briefing order and a possible delay in issuance of an opinion in the case.

The case was thought to be about whether arbitration is required of a representative action under the Private Attorneys General Act seeking recovery of individualized lost wages as civil penalties under Labor Code section 558.  But Justice Kruger asked whether PAGA covers lost-wage claims at all, regardless of in what forum those claims are decided.

The day after the argument, the court directed supplemental briefing on this issue:  “If this court concludes Labor Code section 558’s ‘amount sufficient to recover underpaid wages’ is not a ‘civil penalty’ recoverable under the Private Attorneys General Act (Lab. Code, § 2698 et seq.), should the trial court be ordered to deny ZB’s motion to compel arbitration?”

Because the court vacated submission of the case when it ordered more briefs, the 90-day clock will not restart for a while and an opinion might not be filed until sometime in September.  (See here.)