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California Appellate Court Denies Rehearing Claims Addressing PAGA Constitutionality

Last week, the Fourth Appellate District of the California Court of Appeals (“Court”) denied a rehearing of California Business & Industrial Alliance v. Becerra, a case that directly addressed the constitutionality of California’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). PAGA, a California statute that we have previously covered on this blog, authorizes employees to file lawsuits to recover civil penalties on behalf of themselves, other employees, and the State of California for California Labor Code violations.

The Becerra case stemmed from a claim brought by the California Business & Industrial Alliance (CABIA), who argued that PAGA violated various components of the U.S. Constitution. In June 2022, the appellate court affirmed a judgment of dismissal after being unconvinced by CABIA’s sole claim on appeal that PAGA violates California’s separation of powers doctrine by allowing private citizens to seek civil penalties on the state’s behalf without the executive branch exercising sufficient prosecutorial discretion. The denial of a rehearing delivers a setback to employers that seek to challenge PAGA’s legality.

PAGA claims have proven to be a hot button issue in the realm of employment law this summer, as the U.S. Supreme Court recently the Court held in Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana that individual PAGA claims can be subjected to arbitration. While the appellate court’s decision in Becerra signals that PAGA will likely be sticking around for the foreseeable future, the recent rulings addressing PAGA make it important as ever for employers to ensure that their businesses are operated CA labor law compliant in order to minimize risk and exposure to claims whether in Court or before an administrative agency like the Department of Labor (DLSE). If you have questions or concerns, are facing a lawsuit under PAGA, or need assistance in ensuring your business is California Labor Compliant, please contact the Employer Lawyers at Chauvel & Glatt.

This material in this article, provided by Chauvel & Glatt, is designed to provide informative and current information as of the date of the post. It should not be considered, nor is it intended to constitute legal advice.  For information on your particular circumstances, please contact  Chauvel & Glatt at 650-573-9500 for legal assistance near you.


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