PAGA-Heavy News Week
This week, the California Supreme Court issued a favorable ruling to employers on the PAGA front, holding that a private Plaintiff may not seek to recover underpaid wages under Labor Code Section 558. You can read our e-blast on that decision here.
In more PAGA news, a case filed by California trade group California Business & Industrial Alliance challenging whether the PAGA is constitutional faced a setback this week. The case claims that the PAGA strips away due process rights from employers and allows Plaintiffs and their attorneys to use the law for their own personal gain and exploits California employers. The case, California Business & Industrial Alliance vs. Becerra is pending in Orange County Superior Court. Just this week, the Superior Court Judge issued an order agreeing with the State that the PAGA does not impede businesses due process rights, explaining that “a PAGA action is a civil action with the parties, both plaintiffs and defendants, afforded all of the rights and remedies available to parties in civil actions.” The trade group’s counsel, however, said that it would move ahead on its claim that the PAGA violates the equal protection clause and keep fighting the statute. You can read more about the setback here.
If you are currently facing a PAGA lawsuit you may have new options in court. Contact the experts at Dowling Aaron Incorporated to discuss the impact of this court ruling on your pending lawsuit or more generally updates to best practices already in place.
Expansion of Paid Family Leave Benefits
Recently passed SB -83 extends Paid Family Leave (“PFL”) benefits from six to eight weeks for claims that start on or after July 1, 2020. PFL benefits are a state disability insurance program that provides wage replacement benefits to employees who take time off to care for a seriously ill child, spouse, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, domestic partner, or baby bonding leave. Claims for PFL are submitted by the employee to the California Employment Development Department by submitting a claim here.
Particularly relevant to employers, SB-83 also requires the governor to propose a plan for more benefit increases and job protections for employees receiving PFL benefits by November 19, 2019. We will provide updates as this issue progresses.
I-9 Form—Not “Expired” Yet
The current version of the form I-9 expired August 31, 2019, but for now, employers should continue to use this version until a new version comes out. We will keep you posted.