Governor Brown Signs Industry Supported PAGA Reform Bill

In a major victory for the union construction industry, Governor Brown has signed AB 1654 which we were strongly supportive of. This measure waives the California Private Attorney’s General Act (PAGA) within the construction industry for employees and employers covered by a valid Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) who agree to waive PAGA in the CBA.

Paga provides employees with a private right of action against a California employer in order to collect penalties on behalf of the state’s Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) for labor code violations.

Specifically, AB 1654 waives PAGA claims (authorized under California Labor Code Section 2698-2699.5) related to the Construction Industry for employers and employees that engaged in a CBA that expressly provides for:

  • Wages, hours of work, working conditions, premium wage rates for overtime, and provides an hourly wage of not less than 30% more than the minimum wage.
  • A grievance and binding arbitration procedure to redress violations.
  • A waiver that addresses the requirements of PAGA in clear and unambiguous terms and authorizes the arbitrator to award any and all remedies otherwise available under PAGA (paying penalties to the state is specifically banned under the new law).