Think California’s politicians want to make it easier to start and run a business in the Golden State? Think again.
Judging from the latest laws coming out of Sacramento, they seem determined to do just the opposite.
Take AB 5, a new and particularly controversial law that reclassifies independent contractors as employees. Some of the law’s provisions are retroactive, meaning class-action suits could be filed against businesses that violated them before the law’s passage. For plaintiff lawyers, “These claims may be like shooting fish in a barrel.”
Then there’s AB 9, which extends the statute of limitations for employment discrimination claims to three years. And AB 51, which is the state’s latest attempt to outlaw employment arbitration agreements, making it more difficult for employers to protect themselves against legal action. Finally, there’s AB 673, which creates even more penalties for employers for good-faith wage and hour violations.
What do all of these laws have in common? They provide more opportunities for plaintiff lawyers to file civil actions against employers under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). Businesses that are already contending with California’s 1,100-page labor code now have even more potential legal headaches to worry about it.
CABIA is suing the state to reform PAGA to protect employers against frivolous and often bankrupting lawsuits. Get updates on our progress by signing up for our newsletter here or telling your story here. It’s time to amplify our voices if we hope to be heard in Sacramento.