Employee’s Refusal to Share PAGA Penalties with Aggrieved Employees Results in Dismissal of Lawsuit

Employee’s Refusal to Share PAGA Penalties with Aggrieved Employees Results in Dismissal of Lawsuit

On February 27, 2019, a California court of appeal published its decision in Moorer v. Noble L.A. Events Inc., affirming a trial court’s order dismissing the plaintiff’s lawsuit that alleged violations of the Labor Code, Wage Order No. 4, and the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA). Moorer had submitted a request for entry of a default judgment in the amount of $679,374, including $594,550 in PAGA penalties, $9,513 in penalties for his individual wage and hour claims, $8,675 in costs, and $66,635 in attorneys’ fees. Despite being provided with eight opportunities to submit a judgment that allocated the amount of PAGA penalties in accordance with the percentages spelled out in the law and California Supreme Court precedent, Moorer insisted that 25 % of the PAGA penalties be distributed only to him, and not to the 23 aggrieved employees on whose behalf he purported to bring the PAGA claim. The appellate court noted that the order of dismissal was the result of Moorer’s decision not to submit a default judgment in compliance with the trial court’s order.