The Real Business Owners Burned by PAGA


Tim Brickley. Blaine Eastcott. Bob “BJ” McCoy. Bruce Wick. Gwen Gordon. This handful of business owners left their businesses to come to Washington, D.C. to make it plain: The Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) needs to be reformed.

We have previously covered the rally at the Supreme Court Steps by California Business and Industrial Alliance. Blaine Eastcott, owner of Rockreation Climbing gyms, and Maria Schaeffer (director of administration at Brickley Environmental) had to deal with their businesses with a PAGA suit.

Although it may seem that the PAGA lawsuit does not have an effect on employees it actually does.

Schaeffer stated, “Well, it’s the boss’s problem, but it takes away employees, so there’s no flexibility. ”

They are not flexible at the moment. Don’t worry. It’s easy to say “Come in whenever possible” or “Leave whenever necessary”.

Eastcott has two locations. This is why employees and customers end up getting robbed.

Eastcott stated, “I must borrow money [to repay the PAGA suit]”.

This means that even though I pay more for a lawsuit, it doesn’t mean I’m giving less to my employees.

Schaeffer also discussed the financial and administrative restrictions that employees face after a PAGA lawsuit has been filed.

They cannot be awarded a bonus for their outstanding work. Each must be acknowledged.

Other organizations, such as the Western Growers Association which represents California’s agricultural interests, and the California Chamber of Commerce, support PAGA reform. Schaeffer and Eastcott believe that a favorable Supreme Court ruling in Viking River Cruises Inc. v. Muriana and the success of the California Fair Pay and Employer Accountability Acts (CFPEAA) will promote reform and possibly even repeal PAGA.

Schaeffer stated, “Hope there’s reform.”

It should. It will force California businesses out the door.

Eastcott thinks so and maybe already there in terms of his business. He plans to open his next location in Arizona, Nevada, or somewhere else that is more business-friendly.

He said, “I hope that the Supreme Court will admit that this law was twisted” and would start a dialogue with the public to inform them.

“I wish it was overturned in June to safeguard employees, not cost the business as much, not enrich trial lawyers”.