On June 27, 2016, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a set of amendments to California’s Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) that will expand labor officials’ involvement in PAGA claims. PAGA gives employees the right to sue their employers for Labor Code violations on behalf of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) after first giving the LWDA an opportunity to investigate.
Governor Brown has said that these amendments are intended to reduce “unnecessary” PAGA litigation by diverting some of it to the LWDA’s administrative hearing process. Among other changes, the amendments (1) increase the time the LWDA may take to review the notices PAGA plaintiffs must submit before suing, to decide whether to investigate, and to issue citations; (2) require plaintiffs to serve the LWDA with copies of PAGA complaints and proposed settlements at the time they file those documents in court; and (3) increase the LWDA’s funding by introducing a $75 fee for filing PAGA notices. Our June 23 article, “California PAGA Amendments Will Expand Labor Officials’ Involvement in PAGA Claims,” provides a closer look at the amendments and traces the history of their passage as part of the governor’s budget.