But business groups criticize the law, saying the state’s oversight of the process is extremely limited, and private attorneys bringing the cases reap the biggest rewards.
“If they’re going to allow private attorneys to step in the shoes of the attorney general, there needs to be checks and balances,” said Tom Manzo, president of California Business and Industrial Alliance, a trade organization of nearly 200 businesses dedicated to changing the law.
When a worker or a worker’s lawyer alerts the state that they intend to pursue civil penalties, the state labor agency generally has 30 days to review the notice and decide whether to investigate the case itself. If it doesn’t investigate, or it does investigate but it doesn’t wind up penalizing the employer, the worker can proceed to court with their claim.
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