In this episode of California Employment NewsLukas Clary and Meagan Bainbridge discuss the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Viking River Cruises, Inc. v Moriana holding that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempts the California law precluding division of individual and non-individual Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) actions for purposes of compelling arbitration. Not

The long-awaited decision by the US Supreme Court in Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana was issued on June 15, 2022, and brings some good news for California employers. The issue before the court was whether the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempts a rule of California law that invalidates contractual waivers (e.g. arbitration agreements) of the right to assert representative claims under California’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA).
Continue Reading CA Employers: Good News from the US Supreme Court PAGA Actions May Be Subject to Arbitration After All

In this episode of California Employment News, Lukas Clary and Meagan Bainbridge discuss recent developments relating to the labor code Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) and steps that employers can take to mitigate the risk of PAGA exposure.
Continue Reading California Employment News – PAGA: The Four-Letter Word of Employment Law

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

On March 12, 2020, in the case Kim v. Reins International California, Inc., the California Supreme Court addressed the issue: “Do employees lose standing to pursue a claim under the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) … if they settle and dismiss their individual claims for Labor Code violations?”  Unfortunately, for employers in