On election day in 2024, voters in California will have the opportunity to repeal the state’s Personal General Attorney Act (PAGA).
What will this mean for the people of California?
Protecting employees from labor law violations
The Personal Attorney General Act (PAGA) was enacted in 2004 to deter employers from violating the Labor Code and, as a result, prevent employees from being deprived of their wages or other labor protections to which they are entitled. It allows employees to act on behalf of the state to recover civil penalties for labor law violations. It also permits an employee who prevails in a PAGA action to recover reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.
In addition, the PAGA authorizes the Labor and Workforce Development Agency to investigate possible Labor Code violations and to bring enforcement actions against employers who have violated the law.
The debate over PAGA has divided businesses and lawmakers in the state for years. On one side, repealing PAGA would immediately eliminate the possibility of PAGA-related lawsuits against companies, which would save them both time and money, as they would no longer have to defend themselves against these claims.
On the other hand, there are also several potential negative consequences of repealing PAGA. First and foremost, it would take away a powerful tool that employees can use to hold businesses accountable for violating their rights. Additionally, it could lead to increased labor disputes and decreased compliance with labor laws overall.
Both sides have plenty of time to make their arguments before November 2024 before voters decide if PAGA is positive or negative for enforcing California’s labor laws.