Premium Joomla Template by HostMonster Reviews

PAGA Reform Deal Struck

Bryan Little, Farm Employers Labor Service

June 24, 2024

The Governor’s office announced on June 18 the results of talks among representatives of business, labor and legislative leadership aimed at reaching a compromise to reform the Private Attorneys’ General Act (PAGA) to address concerns about abusive litigation aimed at employers that seldom results in full renumeration to employees who have suffered some problem or loss. Legislation was introduced late on June 21 (AB 2288, Kalra and SB 92, Umberg) as vehicles to move the deal through the Legislature to the Governor's desk.  features of the agreement include:

 

  • Requiring that an employee bringing a PAGA suit to have been personally affected by the employer’s alleged violations.
  • Expanding the number of Labor Code sections where employers can “cure” violations, reducing the need for litigation and making employees “whole” more quickly.
  • Streamlining PAGA litigation by codifying a trial court’s ability to limit the scope of claims presented at trial to facilitate manageability of those claims.
  • Encouraging compliance with labor laws by capping penalties on employers who quickly take steps to fix policies and practices and make injured employees whole.
  • Creating new, higher penalties on employers who act maliciously, fraudulently or oppressively in violating labor laws.
  • Ensuring that more of the penalties go to employees by increasing their allocation from 25% to 35%.

 

It seems likely that Labor came to the table to negotiate to forestall passage on the November ballot of an PAGA reform initiative. Legislation to implement the PAGA reform deal must be completed before June 27, the last date on which the PAGA reform ballot initiative can be withdrawn from the ballot by its proponents. Business advocates in Sacramento are coalescing to support AB 2288 and SB 92, and passage is expected quickly.