by Michael Kun
As we have mentioned previously on thisblog, the latest wave of wage-hour class actions to hit California employers is based on a claim that employees were not provided “suitable seating” under an obscure provision of California’s Wage Orders. To avoid having these cases removed to federal court,and to avoid the burden of establishing the elements for class certification, many plaintiffs’ counsel have taken to filing these lawsuits not as class actions, but as representative actions under California’s Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”).
PAGA — sometimes referred to as the “Bounty Hunter Law” or the “Sue Your Boss Law” — allows a single employee to pursue claims on behalf of all “aggrieved employees,” with potential recovery of up to $100 per employee for the first violation and $200 per employee for each subsequent violation. The potential recovery can be enormous, and a plaintiff need not certify a class.