State Bill 462, enacted in August 2013, amended Labor Code section 218.5. The statute previously provided that attorneys’ fees are recoverable by the prevailing party in lawsuits to recover unpaid wages, to either the employer or employee, whoever wins. Now, it provides that a prevailing employer may only recover attorneys’ fees if a trial court finds that the employee brought the wage action in bad faith. As such, it will be very difficult for an employer to recover attorneys’ fees in these wage/hour disputes, even if they win.
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