Kevin Sullivan, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Los Angeles office, was quoted in the Bloomberg Law Daily Labor Report, in “California Top Court Weighs How to Split Big Labor Law Cases,” by Joyce E. Cutler. (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

The California Supreme Court is considering whether trial judges can split up claims under a unique state labor law, an attempt to resolve a split among state appellate courts about how large cases should be managed.

Justices on Wednesday questioned whether treating cases brought under the Private Attorneys General Act like class actions, for size management, diminishes that law, which deputizes individual workers to sue for labor violations on the state’s behalf. …

PAGA is a huge issue for employers, plaintiffs, and the state. PAGA penalties are split with 75% going to the state and 25% to the workers. From fiscal 2004-05, when enforcement of the law began, to March of this year, the state has received $697 million in employer-paid penalties, the California Department of Industrial Relations said.

“The legislature would not have adopted this new enforcement statute and deprived judges of their inherent authority that they had all along without clearly saying that. And PAGA doesn’t say that,” said Kevin Sullivan, a PAGA defense attorney with Epstein Becker & Green PC.

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