The Private Attorneys’ General Act
Many sections of the Labor Code have penalizing provisions, such as for failure to pay wages upon termination of employment, failure to provide meal and rest periods, failure to proviee itemized wages statements, and others. Under the Private Attorneys General Act, (PAGA) Labor Code Sections 2698 et. seq., employees can act as a private Attorney General, enforcing the rights for not just themselves, but for all employees in the same situation.
PAGA divides Labor Code violations into three categories: Serious Labor Code Violations; Health and Safety Violations; and other Labor Code violations. If the Labor Code provision which forms the basis of the PAGA has its own civil penalty, then the employee can seek to collect that penalty for themselves and other aggrieved employees. If the Labor Code section does not provide a civil penalty, the PAGA penalty is $100 for each employee per pay period for the initial violation, and $200 for each employee per pay period for subsequent violations.