Friday, August 19, 2016

Relief from Private Attorney General Act Lawsuits Could Be On Its Way

PAGA has been a real problem for employers and it appears we might be getting some reliefHave any of you had a PAGA action?
Scott Hauge
Small Business California
2311 Taraval Street
San Francisco, CA  94116


Regional Director, California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse
Last week, Governor Jerry Brown signed a budget that included more state oversight over the thousands of frivolous Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) lawsuits being filed against California businesses. Both Senate Pro Tem Kevin de Leon and Assembly Leader Anthony Rendon also indicated to Assemblywoman Shannon Grove that they would be helpful to her efforts to reform this poorly written law.
PAGA has created a field day for unscrupulous attorneys who sue businesses for thousands, hundreds of thousands, or millions of dollars for issues of technical non-compliance.
Business owners are sued for not having a beginning and ending date on a pay check stub, a typo in the company name printed on the paycheck, or incorrectly documenting rest and meal breaks. For example, one company in Kern County had to settle for $1.5 million for incorrectly calculating an hourly bonus for workers who worked safely on the job. These infractions cost business owners $100 for the first violation and then $200 per subsequent violation multiplied by the number of employees per pay period over four years.  
This new type of legal extortion is taking a big toll on businesses forcing them to spend thousands or even millions of dollars to settle, file for bankruptcy, lay off workers, or even move their businesses and jobs out of California.
Recently, nearly 100 small business owners lined up to share their experience with unwarranted PAGA lawsuits at the California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse Small Business Summit in Bakersfield.
The Bakersfield area has been a target of PAGA lawsuits where business owners are sued over minor technical violations that become class action lawsuits.  Over 100 Kern County business owners have been sued under PAGA and 34,000 statewide, according to Assemblywoman Shannon Grove.
Your voice is needed.  Legislators need to hear you and know there is support in their local district. We urgently need you to call your local assembly and senate member asking them to support PAGA reform.
Please reach out to California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse to sign up for our legislative alerts that will keep you up-to-date on important legislative issues and connect you with your legislator.  Click here to watch a video with Assemblywoman Shannon Grove, (R) Bakersfield, interviewing businesses owners hurt by frivolous PAGA lawsuits in Kern County.

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