Employers with operations both large and small in California are all too familiar with California’s Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”), the controversial statute that permits a single employee to stand in the shoes of the state’s attorney general and file suit on behalf of other employees to seek to recover penalties for alleged Labor Code violations.

The in terrorem effect of PAGA lawsuits, in which a plaintiff need not satisfy class certification criteria to represent an entire workforce, has led many employers to pay large settlements just to avoid legal fees and the possibility of larger awards, even when the evidence of unlawful conduct is spotty or entirely absent.

Will 2022 be the year that PAGA is repealed?


Continue Reading Will 2022 Be the Year California Voters Repeal PAGA?

More than three years after its landmark decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, the United States Supreme Court has granted certiorari in Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana to determine whether Epic Systems extends to arbitration agreements that include waivers of representative actions brought under the California Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA).

Employers with operations in California, who have been plagued by the filing of boilerplate PAGA actions, could be heard to breathe a sigh of relief.


Continue Reading Supreme Court Set to Decide Whether Epic Systems Extends to PAGA Representative Claims

It is no secret that the Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) has been a cash cow for plaintiffs’ counsel in California.

PAGA allows a single employee (and their counsel) to file suit on behalf of other employees for alleged Labor Code violations, without having to go through the class action mechanism.  In other words, a PAGA plaintiff can file suit seeking penalties for hundreds or thousands of employees, yet never need to show that there are common issues susceptible to common proof – or even that their own claims are typical of those of other employees.

As a result, there has been little to prevent plaintiffs and their counsel from filing massive PAGA actions on behalf of all of an employer’s employees, even without having any basis to believe that many those employees suffered any violation at all.


Continue Reading California Appellate Decision Recognizing Manageability Requirements for PAGA Actions May Provide Much Needed Relief to Employers

On May 28, 2021, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals delivered a win to Walmart in a lawsuit brought by Roderick Magadia (“Magadia”) alleging violations of California’s wage statement and meal break laws.

The Ninth Circuit overturned a $102 million dollar judgment issued by United States District Judge Lucy H. Koh – comprised of $48

We have frequently written about California’s Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”), a unique statute that allows private individuals to file suit seeking “civil penalties” on behalf of themselves and other “aggrieved employees.”

The only remedy available to employees in actions brought under PAGA is a civil penalty.  That is significant because civil penalties are unlike

While it may be true that employees rarely even look at their wage statements, there is one group of persons who certainly do – plaintiffs’ lawyers.  Or, more precisely, California plaintiffs’ lawyers.

And after a stunning $102 million award against Wal-Mart for wage statements that the court concluded did not fully comply with California’s onerous

In Bernstein v. Virgin America, Inc., a district court in California has ordered Virgin America to pay more than $77,000,000 in damages, restitution, interest and penalties for a variety of violations of the California Labor Code. The award is the latest example of the tremendous amount of damages and penalties that can be awarded

The question whether an individual may be held liable for alleged wage-hour violations is one that occasionally arises in class action litigation – and, for obvious reasons, it is one that is particularly important to individuals who own entities or who are responsible for overseeing wage-hour compliance.

In Atempa v. Pedrazzani, the California Court

More than 7 months after hearing oral argument on an issue that will affect countless employers across the country – whether employers may implement arbitration agreements with class action waivers — the United States Supreme Court has issued what is bound to be considered a landmark decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis (a companion