PAGA representative actions, filed in conjunction with class claims or as stand-alone actions, carry the potential of enormous aggregate penalties. Penalties of $100 or $200 per employee, per pay period, yield exorbitant totals that can threaten to destroy a company. Plaintiff attorneys have also learned to weaponize the discovery process in PAGA actions to maximize their disruption, intrusiveness, and the cost of defense. The threat of statewide discovery is used to bludgeon settlements from employers concerned about defense costs and eye-popping potential exposure at trial. Further, although we are now two decades from the passage of PAGA, courts continue to weigh in on the meaning and application of the statute, making PAGA litigation a constantly shifting labyrinth.
The class and representative action team at Martenson, Hasbrouck & Simon, LLP, is entrusted by some of the largest employers in the country with the defense of their PAGA litigation.