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SHRM Article About Case Involving Applicability of California’s PAGA Includes Perspective from George Howard Jr.

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The California Supreme Court recently ruled in Adolph v. Uber Technologies that employees who have settled individual Labor Code violation claims still can pursue class-action claims, giving a boost to the state’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA).

In a SHRM article about the impact of the decision, Quarles & Brady’s George Howard Jr., a Labor, Employment & Benefits partner in the San Diego office, offered insight on some of the steps employers can take to minimize the risk of PAGA lawsuits.

An excerpt:

Many businesses require workers to sign arbitration agreements because arbitration can be faster and less costly than litigation. In general, employers don't want to arbitrate the whole PAGA claim because they can't appeal an arbitration decision if it goes against them, said George Howard, an attorney with Quarles & Brady in San Diego.

To avoid PAGA lawsuits, Paley recommended that companies audit their HR and pay practices to confirm they are legally compliant. "The best way to try to prevent and ultimately win any of these cases is to ensure that your policies and procedures are fully compliant," he said.

In addition, employers should update their arbitration agreements because there are "a lot of old agreements out there floating around," Howard said.

Employers should consider whether they actually want and need to use arbitration agreements. "Not every employer wants an arbitration provision anyway," he noted. "A lot of the larger employers have them."


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