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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 11491
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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paga claim

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I HAD AN EMPOLYEE THAT WORKED FOR ME APPROX 2.5 YEARS AGO AND HE TOOK ME TO THE LABOR BOARD AND LOST, ALTHOUGH I DID PAY HIM A $1000.00 TO SETTLE THE CASE AND GOT A RELEASE AND NOW HE IS FILING A PAGA CLAIM AGAINST ME. CAN HE DO THAT

Good evening and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do everything I can to answer your question.

Most likely, the employee has no right to pursue a PAGA claim. According to the CA Court of Appeal's 2008 decision in Deleon v. Verizon Wireless, a claimant who releases ALL causes of action through a comprehensive settlement waiver waives their right to subsequent bring a PAGA claim. The waiver need not specifically waive the employee's right to pursue a PAGA action, but the waiver must be unequivocal and comprehensive in scope.

You will need to review the settlement agreement which this employee signed in order to assess whether they have waived their rights to such degree. If the settlement agreement was drafted by an attorney or by the DLSE, it will almost certainly be sufficient. Here is a link to the Deleon case you will want to cite in support of a motion to dismiss the PAGA action: http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=4141330947217550986&q=Deleon+v+Verizon&hl=en&as_sdt=4,5

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes and kindest regards.
Patrick, Esq. and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for you're answer. Can you tell me why the attorney took this case. The claimant an I both live in Fresno and his attorney is in the L.A. area and like you said I do have a signed release and I also read the claimant only has one year to file a paga claim. I would not be surprised if he did not tell his attorney that he did receive a $1000.00 settlement from me and I have a signed release. Any idea why his attorney would take the case? Thank you, Rick

Rick,

Thank you very much for your reply.

I would only be speculating, but there could be a few reasons. First, if the attorney is unethical, he may have agreed to accept the case on an hourly basis knowing full well that it will be dismissed in the early stages of litigation simply as a way to collect a fee. Second, he may believe that the waiver the employee signed is not sufficiently comprehensive to waive a PAGA claim (see the case I cited for discussion of what is sufficient). Third, as you note, he may simply not be aware of this employee's final settlement, though I find that to be the least probable explanation. Lastly, he may not have done his research and believes that a PAGA claim is exempt from waiver, which it is of course not.

This is a very unfortunate situation, but you would be well served to retain a local attorney who can file what's called a "demurrer." If sustained, that should dispose of the case in its entirety. Though it is unlikely, you may also be able to bring a motion for attorney fees on the grounds that the suit is frivolous.

Good luck to you moving forward.
Patrick, Esq. and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

This guy does not have any money so I'm sure he is not hourly with the attorney and I'm sure the attorney knows what he is doing since he specializes in this type of case. I have been to two different attorneys and actually got my retainer back because I found out more than what he knew and he wasn't a Employment law attorney which I thought he was because he was referred to me by a bankrupsy attorney. I did see #2 attorney but I've actually learned more from you. Do you know of anyone in the Fresno area you can refer me to. Thank you, Rick

Thanks again for your reply and kind words. Unfortunately, the terms of service of this site prohibit us from making direct referrals. The most I am able to do is guide you to referral sites through which you can locate competent attorneys in your area.

I particularly like Martin Dale, which provides a well-respected form of attorney skill ratings. See here: http://www.martindale.com/Labor-and-Employment/s-california/fresno-lawyers.htm?c=S

You'll want an "AV" rated attorney.

I hope this helps and please let me know if you require any further clarification.

Patrick, Esq. and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you