California is on Your Side When You Are a Victim of Illegal Wage Practices
An advantage of being represented by the California employment law lawyers of Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik is that employees don't have to go into wage and hour lawsuits by themselves; instead, they are in the action with the state of California as their partner.
In 2004, the legislature enacted the Private Attorney General Act, also known as the "PAGA." The PAGA is enables private attorneys, such as our San Diego based employment law firm, to add another cause of action for civil penalties to complaints for overtime wages, meal and rest break violations, business expenses reimbursement, among other wage and hour violations. Although the state of California gets seventy five percent of the money obtained under this cause of action and the employee gets the remaining twenty five percent, it is important to understand that the PAGA is a completely separate, additional cause of action. In other words, it does not preclude the employee from fully recovering his or her overtime wages plus interest and any other penalties that may be available for the particular violation at issue, such as so called "waiting time penalties" available for each day up to thirty days that an employee is not fully paid his or her full wages upon employment termination.
Wage and Hour Class Actions
Another advantage of the PAGA relates to overtime class action lawsuits in California. Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik has already demonstrated its excellence in these types of wage and hour actions throughout California, including in San Diego County, Santa Clara County, Los Angeles County, and San Francisco County. The PAGA only furthers the possibility of achieving successful results on behalf of employees because the California Supreme Court decided in Arias v. Superior Court (2009) that PAGA claims are representative actions that are not subject to pass through California's class action gauntlet. This gives employees leverage with their other claims under the substantive provisions of the California Labor Code for, say, overtime wages, meal and rest breaks, and improper wage deductions and calculations.
Requirements for Using the Private Attorney General Act of 2004
The main requirement under the PAGA is that employees in California are required to file an action with the state for the wage and hour violations before he or she files a private action in court. Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik focuses on maximizing the recovery for employees that are victims of their employer's illegal wage practices. California benefits in that the PAGA provides a realistic way for the state to collect penalties for wage and hour violations, which hurt the state because less money paid to employees means less taxes for California.
Call 866-745-2949 in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Orange County or San Diego
For additional information about our approach to unfair pay practices anywhere in the state, contact the California employee compensation attorneys at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik for a free consultation.