Private Attorney General Act

Private Attorney General Act of 2004

In 2004, the Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) was enacted. This statute enables private attorneys, such as Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik, to add another cause of action for civil penalties to complaints for wage and hour violations.

The PAGA benefits California because it provides a way for the state to collect penalties for wage and hour violations, which hurt the state because less wages mean less California taxes. Although the state of California gets 75 percent of the money obtained under this cause of action, and the employee gets the remaining 25 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 penalties that may be available for the particular violation at issue. Basically, in a successful PAGA action, the employee recovers an extra 25 percent on their claims and the state collects a hefty fine.

Another advantage of the Private Attorney General Act relates to class action lawsuits in California. The PAGA only furthers the possibility of achieving successful results on behalf of employees. As decided by Arias v. Superior Court (2009), PAGA claims are representative actions that do not need 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.


Free Consultation- No Attorney Fees Unless You Recover Compensation

Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik focuses on maximizing the recovery for employees who are victims of their employer’s illegal wage and hour practices. For additional information about the Private Attorney General Act and wage and hour violations, call our attorneys at 800-568-8020.