“Rick Roussin built his business around hiring people who need a 2nd and 3rd chance. Today, he credits his company’s growth and success to the people who work for him. Unfortunately, Rick’s business was targeted by an unscrupulous PAGA attorney; his employees have paid the cost through less workplace flexibility.” Learn more about Rick and his employees here.
Blaine Eastcott went from a part-time employee to a business owner in under two decades. Thanks to a PAGA lawsuit, the future of his business and its 86 part-time employees is in jeopardy. “He has spent more than $60,000 to defend himself and the trial attorneys are seeking more than $250,000. Blaine doesn’t know how he’ll pay it.” Learn more about Blaine’s story here.
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I am writing today to request that you reform the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA).
Instead of empowering employees, this law fills the pockets of large law firms at the expense of our state’s small businesses and non-profits. While it takes one disgruntled employee to file a claim over a minor issue, such as a typo on a pay stub, it can cost businesses thousands if not millions of dollars in settlements — very little of which is recouped by employees.
In one 2018 PAGA lawsuit, Google ended up settling for $1 million, $330k of which went to attorneys. Employees only saw $15.50 each. In another settlement with Uber that same year, the attorneys came away with $2.3 million. The employees received $1.08 each. With outcomes like these, attorneys have every incentive to continue filing PAGA lawsuits over the most minor violations; it’s no wonder more than 35,000 PAGA suits have been filed since the law was created.
Our state operates at a surplus today, and it’s time to allocate resources to not only enforcing our over 1,000 pages of labor laws, but to educating employers on the rules as well.
Entrepreneurship and job creation in California should be applauded, not punished — yet that’s what PAGA does. Please consider supporting the business owners
who have invested so much in this state, and fix this harmful law.