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CRLAF's AB 636

AB 281 Would Allow Employers Caught Stealing From Low-Wage Workers To Avoid Penalty

Under AB 281, an employer who steals minimum wages from hundreds of workers can be caught but will still be able to avoid any penalty for his or her wrongdoing.

CRLAF was an original co-sponsor of PAGA. One reason we helped develop it and support its enactment was that exploited workers in California’s under-ground economy lacked effective legal tools to deter misconduct by unscrupulous growers and farm labor contractors who had adopted a ‘wage theft’ business model.

AB 281 proposes three changes to existing law that are deceptively simple but will significantly impact the effectiveness of the Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) and undermine its central purpose. If implemented, these changes will also increase administrative costs for LWDA; create collateral legal issues increasing the costs of litigating these cases; and will allow employers to avoid PAGA liability for fundamentally important labor law violations that deserve punishment, not leniency.

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