Between sky-high minimum wages and a convoluted labor code, California’s small and medium-sized businesses have the odds stacked against them. But a pending Supreme Court decision in the case of Viking River Cruises, Inc. V. Moriana could help spare employers from one of the state’s most harmful laws: the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA).
PAGA is a misguided law that allows employees to sue their employer over any perceived violation of the state’s over 1,100-page labor code. Since becoming law, trial attorneys have used PAGA to leach onto Golden State businesses and suck out hundreds of thousands of dollars per case, even for minor infractions such as a typo on a paystub. Meanwhile, evidence suggests employees are worse off under PAGA than if the state stepped in to handle these cases.