In 2004, the California Legislature passed the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”), California Labor Code sections 2698-2699.5. PAGA has become an important tool for protecting the rights of California employees.
Under PAGA, an employee who is injured by an employer’s violation of the Labor Code can bring a representative action on behalf of all other employees who were injured by the same violation. The employee stands in the shoes of the State of California and is authorized to collect any penalties or wages the state would be entitled to collect.
PAGA has been used to address many different violations of the California Labor Code:
- Overtime violations
- Meal and rest break violations
- Paycheck errors
- Failure to reimburse business expenses
- Failure to provide seats to employees
Importantly, PAGA claims are not subject to mandatory arbitration under an employer’s arbitration agreement. Therefore, PAGA allows an employee to bring a claim in court, which may be more advantageous to the employee.
Clapp Legal APC is a pioneer in the field of PAGA actions is currently litigating PAGA claims before the California Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal. If you have a question about PAGA, please contact us for a free, confidential consultation.