A California business group has sent a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom to impose a 90-day moratorium on lawsuits brought under the state’s Private Attorneys General Act in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The letter, sent on Wednesday by the California Business and Industrial Alliance, says so-called PAGA notices continue unabated despite the unprecedented impact the coronavirus has had on employers, particularly those in the health care field. Last week alone, lawyers filed 167 claims under PAGA, which, “while lucrative for trial lawyers, often cost businesses thousands if not millions of dollars in settlement and legal fees,” the letter says.

“These attorneys aren’t even slowing down,” said the group’s founder, Tom Manzo, who filed the letter. “They’re not even taking a pause and what’s even more repulsive is they’re attacking businesses that we’re all going to need as a society right now.”

“Imagine this hospice care center dealing with who knows what is mentally on their mind and now all of a sudden the owner says you got this PAGA notice and your attorney says this could cost you millions,” Manzo said. “This is horrible timing for all of this.”

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