Employment and Labor Law Attorney Los Angeles

Private Attorneys General Act in Los Angeles

Employees have the right to report violations of safety or labor codes or tax laws, if they have experienced or are aware of them. The workers are essentially a private attorney’s general: this means that the employee can report the incident and hold their employer responsible for any violations.

Do I have to be employed to report any labor violations?

In order to report a violation under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA), you must be a current employee of that employer or must be a former employee. This means that at one point you must have been employed by that employer in order to bring such claims against the employer.

Usually, the parties filing the lawsuit are referred to as aggrieved employees. An aggrieved employee is someone who has suffered some type of harm or injury from their employee because of a labor code violation.

What is the Private Attorneys General Act?

The Private Attorneys General Act allows an employee to file a lawsuit on behalf of themselves and other employees. This is essentially filed as a California attorney general claim since the employee themself is the one that is doing the reporting.

Will I receive compensation for reporting under the Private Attorneys General Act?

Usually, employees who report under the Private Attorneys General Act do not get compensated for reporting. Instead, the employer is held responsible and must pay fees and penalties to the state. For example, there’s a $100 civil penalty for any labor violation per employee. This means that if the employer has engaged in labor violations against 100 employees, they must pay $10,000 in fines and penalties to the state.

These fines and penalties typically go directly to the state, and not to the employees themself. Employees then have the right to file an independent lawsuit to reclaim those wages.

When can I file a Private Attorneys General Act claim?

You have one year from the date of the labor code violation to report this incident. For more information, we recommend that you speak to our Los Angeles employment attorneys.

Do I need to hire a Private Attorneys General Act lawyer?

The Private Attorneys General Act is a fairly new type of law with several details and complexities that an experienced attorney must navigate. That is why we recommend that you have an experienced and skilled Los Angeles employment attorney on your side to help make sure that you get top-rated legal care. 

What if my employment contract waives my rights? 

Sometimes, an employee may have to sign an employment contract. This employment contract will call for arbitration, which means that all employees who signed the contract will have to bring their case before a third party (arbiter), instead of filing a lawsuit or a class action lawsuit in court. But, when it comes to Private Attorneys General Act claims, an employee could still file a Private Attorneys General Act claim even if they have signed a contract that waives their right. This means that they do not have to go to arbitration to report any labor violations. 

What type of claims fall under the Private Attorneys General Act?

  • Violations of the California labor code: this includes various different types of labor laws. For example, this includes wage and hour violations. An employer must pay minimum wage, and overtime, and provide employees with proper arrest and meal breaks. An employer must also provide accurate payments and pay stubs to employees. Another common labor violation that is brought up under the Private Attorneys General Act is the failure of the employer to reimburse the employees’ expenses, along with unlawful deductions from their pay stubs. 
  • Violations of the California health and safety regulations: employers must keep all workplace environments safe for all employees. This means properly storing all materials and workplace equipment. Employees must also be properly trained on how to use the equipment. 

Do other states have the Private Attorneys General Act?

The Private Attorneys General Act is solely under California law. It is meant to enforce California labor law and regulations. Other states may have laws similar to the Private Attorneys General Act, but, as of now, only California employees are able to file a claim under the Private Attorneys General Act. 

How can an employee file a work Private Attorneys General Act lawsuit?

The Private Attorneys General Act lawsuit process is different from a standard lawsuit. This is because there is a different set of rules and complexities. Employees must file a claim with the California Labor and Workplace Development Agency. This is a claim that must be filed online.

When filing the claim, the employee must also pay $75 to file the claim. But, there are several different exceptions in place that may waive the $75. 

When filling out this claim, it is very important that the employee fill out as much information as possible. This includes specifics on when the violation occurred, how the violation occurred, and all the parties that were involved with the violation.

The employer is then served with the legal paperwork of the claim. An employer must be served in order to begin the claims process.

The three most important steps that should be outlined in the claims application are:

  1. The employees who were aggrieved and suffered harm because of the violations
  2. What violations that the employer engaged in
  3. What happened, and if there were any incidences of the violation.

Does the employer know about the claim?

Usually, when filing a Private Attorneys General Act claim, the employer only knows about the claim once they are given notice. This process is handled by the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, and then the investigation process begins. The agency looks into the circumstances of the claim and determines exactly what violations they are dealing with.

If you believe that your employer has violated labor laws or safety regulations, you should contact our attorneys as soon as possible. Our attorneys know just what it takes to file a claim under the Private Attorneys General Act and know exactly how to maneuver through the legal process. Give us a call today to discuss. It is important to keep in mind that the claim must be filed within a year. 

Our attorneys also have complimentary consultations, so you can discuss your claim freely and in confidence without having to worry about any workplace retaliation by your employer. In the event that your employer does show unfair treatment after filing such a claim, our employment attorneys will begin getting to work and making sure that a workplace retaliation claim is brought forth. 

Contact A Los Angeles Private Attorneys General Act Attorney Today

Many employees are not even aware that they could file a lawsuit against their employer for violations. Our attorneys will make sure that you have your rights secured, meaning that you are comfortable and can file a labor violation claim against your employer properly.

Our attorneys work hard so our clients get the care they need. Give us a call today to see how you could hold your employee responsible for violating labor codes.