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AB 385 – PAGA Reform Proposal

The Private Attorneys General Act was enacted in 2003

By Chris Micheli, February 3, 2021 6:10 am

On February 2, Assemblyman Heath Flora (R-Ripon)  introduced AB 385, which would make an important change to the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) statute. AB 385 would amend Labor Code Section 2699.

PAGA was enacted in 2003 to allow employees to sue employers for violating provisions of the California Labor Code and collect civil penalties. This bill would prohibit an aggrieved employee from maintaining an action on behalf of themselves or any other aggrieved employee under PAGA if certain conditions apply.

An “aggrieved employee” would be prohibited from bringing a suit under PAGA if all of the following provisions apply:

First, the aggrieved employee brought the PAGA suit in conjunction with or addition to claims for monetary damages for violating the Labor Code between March 4, 2020 and the end of the state of emergency.

Second, the claims for monetary damages or penalties are covered by an enforceable arbitration agreement.

Third, the aggrieved employee and employer knowingly waived their right to enforce the arbitration agreement.

AB 380 should be heard in its first policy committee in late March.

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