The Private Attorney General Act, also known as PAGA, is a statue that allows employees to file a lawsuit against their employers with respect to labor violations. If you want to receive PAGA claims in California, you should adhere to the required laid out in the Labor Section 2698 to 2699.5.
More About PAGA
This Act was passed in California in the year 2004 during the time the state experienced inefficient resources to process the violation of labor laws. It was passed by the legislature when more and more workers began to complain that they are not being paid fair wages. To file this lawsuit, an employee needs to file a PAGA claim with the state of California.
When you file the claim, it should be thorough and contain all the essential facts that support the labor code of California or Wage Order Violation formulated by the company. Moreover, the state of California provides the notice to employees within 65 days regarding its intention to initiate the required investigation. If the state doesn’t provide any notice within this time period, then the employee can file the lawsuit.
Documents Required to File PAGA claims in California
To file a PAGA claim, you need to submit notices, responses, and some documents with the Labor and Workforce Development Agency. Following are the documents you need to submit with LWDA that include –
· PAGA Claim notice
· Amended PAGA Claim notice
· Employer response
· Court complaint
· Cure dispute by the employees
· Court order
· The proposed settlement of the case
· Other necessary documents to support the case
The Process of PAGA Claims
The core objective of the PAGA claim is not to acquire damage recovery; instead, it focuses on paving the way to assign people as attorneys to implement the state’s labor laws. It is critical to ensure that the benefits provided are beneficial to the general public instead of being specific to a particular person or group.
However, an individual who has filed the claim will receive financial compensation under the lawsuit. Under this claim, employers can be made to pay penalties for violating the wage and hour regulations under the labor code. While 25 of the penalties go to the employees, 75% of this amount is going to the State of California. Based on the severity of the violation, the penalties associated with PAGA could be sum up to a considerable amount.
Understanding PAGA Penalties
The civil penalty under PAGA against an enterprise for a single violation is USD 100 per employee for a single pay period. The penalty associated with every subsequent violation stands at USD 200 per worker for each pay period. So the worker would receive approximately USD 25 for every violation per pay period. And they would acquire USD 50 for subsequent violations. This way, the overall penalties under the PAGA case can quickly add up. Along with receiving penalty amount, you can also recover court fees and attorney fees.
When you file a PAGA lawsuit against the employers, you must know that the company cannot retaliate against you. This is because you are assisting the State of California to investigate wrongdoing or fraud. As an employee, you are within your right that is provided by the state law to initiate such legal action against your employers.
So if your employer fires you for filing a PAGA lawsuit, you can highlight this point in your case and receive compensation for the financial loss you have incurred. When considering to file this lawsuit, you can highly benefit from the experience of an attorney. His or her expertise can help you to make the process more efficient and get the right compensation for your trouble.