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AB-2074 Recovery of wages: liquidated damages.(2013-2014)

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Date Published:

Assembly Bill No. 2074

An act to amend Section 1194.2 of the Labor Code, relating to employment.

[ Approved by Governor  August 19, 2014. Filed with Secretary of State  August 19, 2014. ]


AB 2074, Roger Hernández. Recovery of wages: liquidated damages.
Existing law authorizes an employee to bring a civil lawsuit against his or her employer for the unpaid balance of wages or compensation owed to that employee.
Existing law permits an employee to recover liquidated damages equal to the unpaid wages plus interest in a court action alleging payment of less than the state minimum wage.
This bill would provide that a suit for liquidated damages may be filed at any time before the expiration of the statute of limitations for bringing the underlying action alleging payment of less than the state minimum wage.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


 Section 1194.2 of the Labor Code is amended to read:

 (a) In any action under Section 98, 1193.6, 1194, or 1197.1 to recover wages because of the payment of a wage less than the minimum wage fixed by an order of the commission or by statute, an employee shall be entitled to recover liquidated damages in an amount equal to the wages unlawfully unpaid and interest thereon. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to authorize the recovery of liquidated damages for failure to pay overtime compensation. A suit may be filed for liquidated damages at any time before the expiration of the statute of limitations on an action for wages from which the liquidated damages arise.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), if the employer demonstrates to the satisfaction of the court or the Labor Commissioner that the act or omission giving rise to the action was in good faith and that the employer had reasonable grounds for believing that the act or omission was not a violation of any provision of the Labor Code relating to minimum wage, or an order of the commission, the court or the Labor Commissioner may, as a matter of discretion, refuse to award liquidated damages or award any amount of liquidated damages not exceeding the amount specified in subdivision (a).
(c) This section applies only to civil actions commenced on or after January 1, 1992.