California’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) — Litigation And Compliance Manual (2021 Pre-Order)

California’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) — Litigation And Compliance Manual (2021 Pre-Order)

California’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) — Litigation And Compliance Manual (2021 Pre-Order)

Print $149.00
Electronic $199.00
Both $249.00

Authors: Richard J. Simmons, Daniel J. McQueen, and Ryan J. Krueger
Publisher: Castle Publications
Edition: Second
ISBN: 9781940747637
Pages: Over 460

This publication is also available in electronic format. Click here for more information.

The current edition of California’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) — Litigation And Compliance Manual is still available in print and electronic formats.



Thousands of claims were initiated during the pandemic under the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”). This occurred while thousands of businesses were reeling from Stay-At-Home mandates and devastating economic blows. The government has exhibited no sympathy for employers despite the fact that PAGA has operated as a get-rich-quick goldmine for plaintiffs’ attorneys, a devastating weapon against struggling employers, and an odd statute that allows the State to share in 75% of any penalties recovered.

The thousands of employers who have faced PAGA claims agree that PAGA has become the worst enemy for employers in the Labor Code. By allowing current and former employees to act as “private attorneys general” and seek a percentage of all penalties recovered based on hundreds of provisions in the Labor Code, the law has been nicknamed the “Bounty Hunter Law” and the “Sue Your Boss Law” because it motivates employees to sue employers instead of filing grievances. California employers are now hit with as many as 10 to 35 PAGA actions a day. The scope of PAGA and its impact emphasize the need to understand California’s extensive rules and commit to total compliance. In fact, an individual who experiences any alleged Labor Code violation can bring a PAGA action on behalf of other employees who are claimed to have experienced a violation of the same or any different statutory violation. And, employees can bring PAGA actions without having to satisfy the basic standards necessary to pursue a class action.

PAGA penalties for a single Labor Code violation can equal $100 for each employee times the number of pay periods for which the violation lasts. As an example, an employer with 100 employees could face penalties of $10,000 per pay period for just one violation. If the employer uses a weekly pay period and the violation lasts a year, the penalties could be $520,000. Strikingly, the penalties can double for subsequent violations. Worse yet, the statute is entirely one-sided so employees who win are assured recovery of their attorneys’ fees even though employers can never recover their fees under PAGA, even if a case is proved to be baseless.

In this publication, Attorneys Richard J. Simmons, Daniel J. McQueen, and Ryan J. Krueger from the law firm of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP examine PAGA from top to bottom. In addition to reviewing every section of the law, the book delves deeply into the cases that have construed it, the hurdles that employees must exhaust before filing a lawsuit, litigation strategies, defenses, the effect of arbitration agreements on PAGA actions, and compliance issues. It includes an in-depth review of the purpose and structure of PAGA, meal period, rest period, pay stub, seating and other claims, trial strategies, damages and remedies.

The publication emphasizes compliance rules and includes a number of checklists. One checklist allows employers to audit their policies and practices. It also provides an extensive review of key cases, including a chapter devoted to the Supreme Court cases in the field since 2004. The authors identify proactive strategies, high risk areas, and valuable guidance designed to aid compliance efforts and reduce exposure to liability.

Among the subjects covered in this publication are:

  • The View Of PAGA From The California Supreme Court
  • The Importance Of Self-Audits
  • The Need To Exhaust Administrative Remedies Before Filing Lawsuits
  • Civil Penalties & Remedies
  • The Effect Of Arbitration Agreements And Class Action Waivers On PAGA Actions
  • The Authority Of Courts To Lower Penalties
  • Factors Considered When Awarding Penalties
  • Common PAGA Claims Regarding Meal Periods, Rest Periods, And Other Issues
  • Suitable Seating Cases
  • Significance Of Category 1 And 2 Statutes
  • Opportunity To Cure Violations
  • Checklists & High Risk Areas
  • Liabilities
  • Penalty Rules
  • Combining PAGA And Class Action Claims In A Single Lawsuit
  • The Effect Of PAGA Actions On Appeals Based On The Death Knell Doctrine
  • The Distinctions In PAGA-Only Actions
  • One-Sided Attorney’s Fee Provision
  • Statutes Of Limitations In PAGA Cases
  • Avoiding Litigation
  • The Effect Of Individual Settlements On PAGA Standing
  • The Role Of The State And Courts In PAGA Settlements
  • Notification Rules
  • Labor Code Checklist
  • Role Of Legal Counsel
  • Litigation Strategies
  • Defenses
  • Role Of LWDA
  • The Issues Associated With Chindarah v. Pick Up Stix Settlements

Additional information


Both, Electronic, Print

About The Authors

Richard J. Simmons is a Partner in the law firm of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP in Los Angeles. He represents employers in various employment law matters involving litigation throughout the country and general advice regarding state and federal wage and hour laws, employment discrimination, wrongful discharge, employee discipline and termination, employee benefits, affirmative action, union representation proceedings, and arbitrations. Mr. Simmons received his B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Massachusetts, where he was a Commonwealth Scholar and graduated in the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. He received his J.D. from Berkeley Law at the University of California at Berkeley where he was the Editor-in-Chief of the Industrial Relations Law Journal, now the Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law.

Mr. Simmons argued the only case before the California Supreme Court that produced a victory for employers and business in 2018. He was recently recognized as the Labor and Employment Attorney of the Year by the Los Angeles Business Journal and was inducted into the Employment Lawyers Hall of Fame. He has lectured nationally on wage and hour, employment discrimination, wrongful termination, and other employment and labor relations matters. He is a member of the National Advisory Board to the Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law, published by Berkeley Law at the University of California at Berkeley. He was also appointed by the California Industrial Welfare Commission as a member of three Minimum Wage Boards for the State of California.

Daniel J. McQueen is a Partner with Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP in the firm’s Los Angeles Office. Mr. McQueen handles all facets of the litigation process in labor and employment disputes. Mr. McQueen has jury trial experience; has taken and defended numerous depositions; written and argued motions for summary judgment; and provided advice on human resources and personnel issues. He has been involved in labor and employment disputes under both state and federal law, including discrimination on the basis of race, sex, age, religion, disability, gender identity and sexual orientation. He has specific experience under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, and other labor and employment laws.

Mr. McQueen has significant experience in defending wage and hour class actions, including claims for overtime pay, meal and rest period violations, and vacation pay. In particular, Mr. McQueen has represented restaurants, retailers, hospitals, and grocery store chains in the defense of wage and hour class actions.

Mr. McQueen received his undergraduate degree from Occidental College and graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law. He is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, along with the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

Ryan J. Krueger is an attorney with Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP in the firm’s Los Angeles office. He specializes in labor and employment matters on behalf of employers, including wage and hour violations, employment discrimination, wrongful termination and sexual harassment. Mr. Krueger has experience in all aspects of employment litigation, including brief writing and oral argument, taking and defending depositions, and negotiating settlements. He has also second chaired multiple trials and arbitrations, and argued before the California Court of Appeal. Mr. Krueger also regularly counsels employers regarding California and federal employment law issues.

Ryan is a co-author of the 2021 edition of the California’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) Litigation and Compliance Manual, a contributing author to the Employer’s Guide to COVID-19 and Emerging Workplace Issues and the ALERT Newsletter. He received his J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles and his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, with distinction. During law school, Mr. Krueger served as extern to the Honorable Morton Denlow, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. He is admitted to practice in all California state courts, along with the United States District Court for the Central District of California and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.