The power of PAGA!
California allows "aggrieved workers" to file to become a "Private Attorney General" (or "PAGA") and file a claim with the California Labor Workplace Development Agency (or "LWDA") for penalties against the employer for labor violations, such as:
- Failure to Pay Wages
- Failure to Pay Minimum Wages
- Failure to Pay Overtime Wages
- Failure to Provide Meal Periods
- Failure to Provide Rest Breaks
- Failure to Fully Reimburse Expenses
- Failure to Provide Accurate, Itemized Wage Statements
- Failure to Keep Accurate Records
The PAGA penalties are:
- For $100 for the initial violation per pay period.
- For $200 for each subsequent violation per pay period.
The penalties should be allocated 75% to the LWDA and 25% to the affected employees, and can become quite costly to the employer.
The complaint letter is filed online. After the PAGA complaint is filed, the LWDA has 65 days to investigate and decide whether to pursue the penalties. If the LWDA does not do this, the person filing the PAGA complaint may bring a PAGA lawsuit in court.
BEST USE OF THIS FORM:A PAGA complaint is an extremely useful weapon used by California labor and employment attorneys to make and settle claims with employers. Because the penalties are assessed for all the workers and not just you, the amount potentially owed can be so quite intimidating. If your employer agrees to settle with you on what you are owed, you can agree to withdraw your PAGA complaint as part of the settlement. This is something which motivates many employers who have had a PAGA complaint filed against them.
OTHER FORMS YOU CAN USE WITH THIS FORM:
A My Job Claim.com Settlement Demand for Wages, Overtime and Penalties is made even stronger if it follows the filing of a PAGA complaint with the LWDA. The employer must now deal with a well reasoned settlement demand and the looming PAGA complaint.
The complaint the the LWDA must be in a certain format with significant detail or the employer can attempt to contest it inadequate. After filing the form online, you must mail $75 to the LWDA unless you qualify for a fee waiver (the fee waiver form is located at: https://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/fw001.pdf). You must also sent a copy of the PAGA complaint you file to the employer by certified mail.
Always proofread for typos and format issues to make the letter as professional looking as possible.
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