Most California employees are aware that they are granted certain rights under California wage and labor laws. As a CA employment law firm, Webb Law Group has covered class action wage and labor disputes previously and provided information regarding steps you can take if you are involved in a dispute with your employer.
However, you may not be aware of The Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) and certain rights it grants you in addition to more commonly searched terms involvingCalifornia employment law. Many employees may utilize PAGA in situations similar to, but slightly different from, employment class action lawsuits.
What is PAGA?
PAGA authorizes aggrieved employees to file lawsuits to recover civil penalties on behalf of themselves, other employees, and the State of California for Labor Code violations. In essence, PAGA deputizes citizens and allows them to pursue penalties against employers on the government’s behalf. It is another avenue for current or former employees to take against an employer for violating CA employment law and offers certain benefits.
While PAGA requires that a portion of the penalties collected be paid directly to the Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) certain benefits are provided to the employee who successfully brings suit. Benefits include an easier standard than a class action suit and attorney’s fees and costs for a successful suit. This can make it an attractive option for an employee who has been wronged by their employer especially when the situation has put them into a tough financial position.
PAGA is useful when violations fall into three distinct categories.
Violations of Labor Code Provisions Specifically listed in Labor Code Section 2699.5
- There are over 150 different violations listed in this section
- Waiting time penalties (Section 203)
- Meal and rest break premiums (Section 226.7)
- Wage statement penalties (Section 226)
- Failure to pay overtime (Section 510
- Failure to pay minimum wage (Section 1194)
- Conditions prohibited by the wage order (Section 1198)
- Violations of Labor Code Provisions Specifically Listed in Labor Code Section 2699.5
- c. Meal and rest break premiums (Section 226.7)
- d. Wage statement penalties (Section 226)
- e. Failure to pay overtime (Section 510
- f. Failure to pay minimum wage (Section 1194)a. There are over 150 different violations listed in this section
- b. Waiting time penalties (Section 203)
- g. Conditions prohibited by the wage order (Section 1198)
- Health and Safety Violations (Labor Code 6300 et seq.)
- Notice must also be submitted to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health
- If a citation is issues, the employee may not commence a civil action under PAGA
- If no citation is issued, the employee may appeal to the Superior Court for an order directing the Division of Occupational Safety and Health to issue the citation
All Other Labor Code Violations
- a. Wage statements that fail to provide required information, such as inclusive dates of a pay period or the legal employer’s name and address
- b. Notice requirement is the same as category 1, but an employer can “cure” the violation within 33 days of the notice
- c. The LWDA and employee will receive notice if the employer claims they have cured the violation
- d. The employee may respond if they do not feel the violation has been cured and the LWDA has 17 days to review the actions taken to determine if the violation has indeed been cured
- e. In the case of the employer not responding or failing to provide proof of the violation being cured, the employee is then permitted to proceed to a civil lawsuit
- f. An employee may still appeal any decision by the LWDA by filing an action with the Superior Court
Additional information for PAGA claims:
· PAGA claims are subject to a one-year statute of limitations
· PAGA cases often settle and the proposed settlement must be submitted to the Court for approval and to the LWDA.
· Even in cases where multiple employees are involved, PAGA is not always identified as a class action, which can make a PAGA claim easier to succeed on
If you are considering a California Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) claim, consulting with an attorney first is a good idea to review your legal options. Contact Webb Law Group today!
Are You Seeking an Attorney in a Case Involving California Employment Law?
Whether you are the plaintiff or defendant in a case involving employment law, Webb Law Group can assist you. Our law firm has years of experience dealing with employment litigation matters including cases involving The Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). We are happy to review your case and advise you on how we can help and what to do next.
Webb Law Group is a reputable business law firm with experience in matters involving California law, including handling business and real estate litigation matters. Having a reputable attorney by your side for these matters will help give you the best possible chance of a positive outcome in your case. If you feel you need legal representation, we are happy to review your legal needs and provide consultation and support where necessary.
For questions, or to schedule a consultation, contact us today at (559) 431-4888 (Fresno) or (619) 399-7700 (San Diego).