Trade Group Calls for Time-Out for California Labor Violation Lawsuits

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California business group wants most populous US state to temporarily block employees from suing employers for labor violations as cornovirus outbreak fuels Fires and business closures.

The California Business and Industrial Alliance has called on Gov. Gavin Newsom to ban employees from filing claims for 90 days under a state law that gives employees the right to step into the shoes of the labor commissioner state to prosecute all kinds of offenses.

Over the past week, 167 such complaints have been filed under California’s private attorneys general law, many of which have targeted hospitals and health service providers, the group said this week in a letter to Newsom. Under the law, which has generated thousands of lawsuits since it came into effect in 2004, workers keep 25% of penalties won and the rest goes to state coffers, not including attorneys’ fees, which can exceed the total paid to workers and states.

“These claims, while lucrative for litigators, often cost companies thousands, if not millions of dollars in settlement and legal fees, even for a minor California labor code violation,” the group said. “Grieved employees generally get a lot less. “

Group founder Tom Manzo said he was awaiting a response from Newsom, a Democrat elected in 2018 with strong union support.

Lawyer Shannon Liss-Riordan, who specializes in representing employees prosecuting labor law violations, said the request was “outrageous.”

“There shouldn’t be a moratorium on legal claims now, nor on the justice system as a whole,” Liss-Riordan said in an email. “Judges and lawyers are now doing all they can to make our legal system work and serve those who need it. Many need justice more than ever. “

Copyright 2021 Bloomberg.

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