What is PAGA?

California’s labor law enforcement agencies, including the Labor and Workforce Development Agency (“LWDA”) also known as the “Labor Board” has the authority to investigate whether employers violate the California Labor Code, and assess and collect civil penalties for any such violations.  However, due to purported budget cuts and cited lack of state resources to prosecute such actions, in 2004, the Legislature enacted the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA), Lab. Code, § 2698 et seq., to authorize an employee to bring an action for civil penalties on behalf of the state against his or her employer for Labor Code violations committed against the employee and fellow employees, with 75% of the proceeds of that litigation going to the state, and 25% to the employees.  A PAGA plaintiff therefore steps into the shoes of an attorney general to prosecute alleged Labor Code violations for civil penalties, on behalf of the state.  PAGA penalties can be astronomical.  Pursuant to PAGA, default civil penalties are $100 “for each aggrieved employee per pay period for the initial violation,” and $200 per aggrieved employer, per pay period, per “each subsequent violation.”
Continue Reading California Court of Appeal Holds That Trial Courts Have Authority to Strike PAGA Claims For Being Unmanageable

In this age of expensive class-action litigation, many California companies have found solace in their arbitration agreements. Under certain circumstances, the enforcement of such agreements includes the dismissal of class action claims. This has largely been made possible by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) which requires judges to enforce a wide range of written arbitration agreements notwithstanding contrary state law. California courts have a long history of delivering rulings that attempt to narrow the scope and effect of the FAA. As one of the latest examples, the California Court of Appeal for the Fifth District held that truck drivers who complete only intrastate deliveries are exempt from the FAA because their work was part of a “continuous stream of interstate travel.”
Continue Reading Certain Delivery Drivers Are Exempt from the Federal Arbitration Act and May Proceed with Class Actions

While it has always been good practice for employers of all sizes to train both their supervisory employees and non-supervisory employees on the prevention of harassment, California law now mandates such training by 1/1/20 (and every 2 years thereafter) for any employer with 5 or more employees.  The attorneys in Weintraub Tobin’s Labor & Employment Department have years of experience conducting energetic, compliant, and effective harassment prevention training for employers of all sizes and in all industries.  The Training Division of the Labor & Employment Department is headed up by Shareholder Beth West.  Feel free to reach out to her or Department assistant Ramona Carrillo if you are interested in scheduling training – we are available to discuss a training program that meets the specific needs of your workplace.
Continue Reading Neutral Services 2019: A New Year that Brings New Training Obligations

The Labor & Employment attorneys at Weintraub Tobin specialize in training supervisors on various workplace issues, including preventing harassment, discrimination, and retaliation; workplace health and safety; and managing leave laws.  For more information, please visit our Trainings page here.

Puzzle 1- training

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few months, you are undoubtedly aware that December 1, 2016 marks the day that the U.S. Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) new overtime rules become effective. The new minimum salary level for the executive, administrative, and professional employee exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act