Private Attorney General Act of 2004 (PAGA)

"In California, the Private Attorney General Act of 2004 ("PAGA") authorizes aggrieved employees to file lawsuits to recover civil penalties on behalf of themselves, other "aggrieved" employees, and the State of California for an employer's Labor Code violations. The aggrieved employees generally retain 25% of any civil penalty recovered and the remaining 75% goes to the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency ("LWDA"). Additionally, the aggrieved employee may bring separate claims for penalties the are directly recoverable. A PAGA claim allows an employee to sue their employer on behalf of the State of California to enforce certain labor code violations as it applies to the employee and other aggrieved employees. An employee who prevails on a PAGA claim could recover attorney's fees and costs in addition to the penalties as they apply to each employee. The exposure of an employer on PAGA claims are quite significant."