Employment Claims Under the Private Attorneys General Act: Standing, Representative Actions, Penalties

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will advise employment counsel on claims under California's Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). The panel will discuss the reach and limitations of representative claims brought under PAGA, including: violations giving rise to PAGA claims, an employee's standing and representative capacity under PAGA, the limited effect of arbitration agreements, the relationship between PAGA and class claims, potential defenses, and civil penalty exposure. The panel will also address best practices for preventing, defending, and resolving PAGA claims.


The PAGA authorizes current and former employees who claim to have experienced Labor Code violations to act as private attorney generals and to recover civil penalties on behalf of the state, themselves, and other current and former employees. Nearly 6,000 PAGA lawsuits were filed in 2020, and the number of PAGA lawsuits in 2021 will likely exceed that total. Nearly a dozen states are actively considering the enactment of similar, PAGA-like legislation. Class action requirements are generally inapplicable to PAGA actions.

Employers' counsel must be aware of the potential, significant civil penalty exposure arising from PAGA claims--even those predicated on highly technical violations of the Labor Code. Employees' counsel will need to understand PAGA's exhaustion requirements, standing under PAGA and the scope of a PAGA plaintiff's representative capacity, and how those matters are impacted by the California Supreme Court's Kim v. Reins decision. Counsel should also understand whether and how arbitration agreements and prior settlement agreements might impact a PAGA claim.

Listen as our authoritative panel discusses PAGA, the elements of establishing a claim, and ways for employers to mitigate risk and exposure to PAGA lawsuits. The panel will address the future of PAGA in California and beyond.



  1. Representative lawsuits under the Private Attorney General Act (PAGA)
    1. Nature of PAGA lawsuits
    2. Pre-filing requirements
    3. Potential PAGA plaintiffs and defendants
  2. PAGA claims
    1. Issues and violations giving rise to PAGA claim
    2. Preventing and/or curing PAGA claims
  3. Litigating PAGA action
    1. Effect of prior arbitration and settlement agreements
    2. "PAGA only" vs. class and PAGA lawsuits
    3. Scope of representative claims
    4. Potential damages
  4. Resolving PAGA claims
    1. Evaluating potential liability/recovery
    2. Unique settlement procedures
    3. Effect of PAGA settlements


Attendees will come away with a better understanding of these and other topics relevant to PAGA litigation:

  • Why plaintiffs pursue PAGA claims and commence "PAGA only" litigation
  • Unique pre-lawsuit exhaustion requirements for employees and cure procedures for employees
  • Employee standing and the scope of their representative capacity
  • The limited effect of arbitration and settlements agreements
  • Common PAGA claims, defense strategies, and litigation issues
  • Evaluating civil penalty exposure and successfully resolving PAGA claims
  • Considerations related to the mandatory court approval of PAGA settlements


Cabral, Corey
Corey J. Cabral

Partner; Chair of PAGA Litigation Practice Group
CDF Labor Law

Mr. Cabral represents local, regional and national employers in all aspects of California labor and employment law and...  |  Read More

Lebel, Philippe
Philippe A. Lebel

Proskauer Rose

Mr. Lebel represents employers in all aspects of employment litigation, including wage and hour, wrongful termination,...  |  Read More

Pyle, Hunter
Hunter Pyle

Hunter Pyle Law

Mr. Pyle handles all types of employment litigation, including class actions, jury trials, wage claims, and...  |  Read More

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