All employers in Irvine, California, are responsible for paying fair wages to their employees and making sure that their employees are classified as correct employees. The Private Attorneys General Act (PAGE) in California allows employees the right to hold their employers accountable. The Private Attorneys General Act was initially enacted in 2004. It provides employees with a lawful basis to come forward and report any violations. 

What are the violations that fall under a PAGA lawsuit?

  • Violations of the California labor code, especially those that cover: overtime pay, meal breaks, rest breaks, and minimum wage
  • Violations of California’s health and safety regulations, such as toxic and hazardous materials at the workplace 

What are the penalties for the Private Attorneys General Act?

Since employers are held responsible, a single violation for an employer can result in $100 for each employee. This number is then multiplied by the number of pay periods that they violated the labor laws. This number takes into account the employer’s financial condition, along with how many employees had their rights taken advantage of. 

Who can file a Private Attorneys General Act claim?

All employees who have been wronged can file a claim against their employer for compensation. This can be done on an individual basis, or employees can come together to file a group claim.

When can I file a Private Attorneys General Act claim?

The time you have to file a claim depends on the circumstances of the violation. But, usually, the statute of limitations for filing a PAGA claim is one year from the date of the violation. This means that the clock essentially starts ticking from the first day that the employer has neglected to pay the employees.

There are several different requirements for this time limit. For example, in some cases, the time could be much less, and in other cases, such as ongoing wage and hour disputes could increase the time limit. For more information,  we recommend that you reach out to our Irvine labor attorneys to see how you could hold your employer accountable. The Private Attorneys General Act laws are constantly changing. That is why you need a highly-rated Irvine lawyer on your side to make sure that you accurately file a claim.

Could I receive compensation for filing a Private Attorneys General Act claim?

  • You can’t receive compensation as an employee for filing a claim. Instead, this claim holds employers responsible and penalizes employers for failing to take adequate measures and pay employees timely. The main purpose of the act is to make sure that all employers and businesses in California adhere to labor regulations.
  • When a penalty is charged against an employer, the employees who have been denied pay, and the state of California share the compensation. The compensation that the state receives goes towards the Private Attorneys General Act board, which is the labor and workforce development agency in California.
  • Sometimes, the person who initiated the claim could also receive a portion of the compensation since they were the ones to bring the group together and incentivize filing the lawsuit.
  • Because there are so many complex rules to filing a claim, we recommend that you consult our attorneys for a one-on-one case evaluation to determine exactly what you can receive. 

Could I file a lawsuit?

The PAGA claim is essentially a claim filed with the government entity. But, you could also file an individual civil lawsuit against your employer. A lawsuit will better assist you in getting the compensation you deserve. For example, you could file an Irvine wage and hour dispute lawsuit against your employer to recover a variety of damages, which could include medical expenses, back pay, and attorney fees. 

What if my employer retaliates against me for filing a Private Attorney General Act claim?

The law protects employees from speaking up and reporting any unlawful activity by an employer. So if the employer then starts to retaliate against the employee or against the group of employees that initiated is the claim, the employees could file a lawsuit for workplace retaliation. Workplace retaliation is a claim that not many employees know they have a right to. Workplace retaliation could include circumstances like the firing of an employee, demoting an employee, lessening the employee’s hours, or reassigning the employee to another location.

What does an Irvine California Private Attorneys General Act attorney do?

A PAGA attorney is one that has extensive experience in handling these types of claims and has extensive knowledge of California labor code violations. Our attorneys have decades of experience holding employers accountable for unlawful violations, whether it is health and safety violations or wage and hour disputes. Below are some general steps that our Irvine lawyers could take:

  • Our top-rated attorneys offer complimentary no-risk case evaluations. A case evaluation provides our attorneys with the opportunity to investigate the circumstances of your claim and assess the amount of compensation that your employer has withheld. There are several questions that we may ask during the one-on-one case evaluation, such as: What date did your employer start to withhold your pay? Are there other employees who are also in a similar situation like you? Have you reported this incident to your employer?
  • Our top-rated attorneys will then develop a personalized legal strategy to see if we should have to file a claim or a lawsuit.
  • Throughout this time, our experienced attorneys will gather all the necessary pieces of evidence to build your case. For example, any pay stubs, copies of checks, and copies of employee pay schedules are documents that we could review. 
  • A PAGA claim requires notice to the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency. 
  • After a claim or lawsuit is filed, our Irvine attorneys will then negotiate a settlement amount that accurately compensates you and addresses the violations that the employer took.
  • Oftentimes, if parties are not able to come to a settlement negotiation, then the case will most likely be litigated in court. Our experienced trial attorneys are not afraid of holding employers accountable for their actions.

Can I still file a PAGA lawsuit if I have an employment contract with my employer?

If you have an employment contract with your employer that states you waive your right to sue, you can still file a PAGA lawsuit. 

Irvine Private Attorneys General Act Lawyer Near Me

Our top-rated attorneys will navigate through the legal complexities of the act to make sure that we file a claim or a lawsuit that best represents the labor code violations that your employer has taken. 

We have extensive experience in all types of labor law and advocate for fair workplace environments. 

We will guide our clients through every step of the process, and answer any questions that they may have regarding their potential claim or lawsuit. We are available 24/7 for our clients because we know how stressful this entire experience could be. It could be especially more stressful if your employer has withheld pay.