Preparing For & Litigating PAGA Claims 2019


In California, the Private Attorneys General Act PAGA poised to become the next “it” claim in wage and hour litigation? Ellen M Bronchetti will form part of a panel of speakers explore the ever changing PAGA landscape, offering practitioner insight into how best to prepare for the anticipated uptick of representative action litigation. Topics will include:

Procedural Issues and Nuts and Bolts of PAGA – this panel will provide a full picture of what PAGA is, what violations give rise to PAGA liability, how PAGA claims are brought and litigated, and what remedies are available through PAGA. The panel will describe: the current procedure for exhausting a PAGA claim with the LWDA (including 2016 amendments); the potential involvement of the LWDA in investigating claims; the relationship between PAGA claims and class action principles; the state of the law on whether PAGA claims are “individual” or “representative” in nature; and how PAGA penalties are calculated.

PAGA trials – this panel will describe trial considerations unique to PAGA claims, including: PAGA-only trials; PAGA claims tried in conjunction with class claims, along with related class definition questions; and how the “representative” nature of a PAGA claim plays out at trial. The panel will survey examples of PAGA trials to date and identify open questions.

Settlement and Arbitration issues – this panel will discuss issues that arise when PAGA claims are subjected to motions to compel arbitration, including recent developments in the Ninth Circuit and California courts concerning “individual-only” arbitration clauses. The panel will survey recent decisions by courts splitting PAGA and non-PAGA claims, and compelling the non-PAGA claims to arbitration. The panel will discuss aspects of settlement of PAGA claims, including: a comparison of the settlement approval process to the more familiar class action settlement approval process; and the valuation of PAGA penalties for purposes of alternative dispute resolution and, subsequently, court settlement approval.

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