We on the right tend to make this observation a lot.
There is now no possibility of another Smith v. Rae-Venter decision helping hapless employers. The Legislature has declare in no uncertain terms that the employer can avoid paying the employee’s attorneys fees (read, “the Labor Commissioner’s fees”) only if the employer walks out of Court owing the employee nothing — and obtaining that outcome, especially in liberal courts in the Bay Area or L.A., is a pretty big risk for any small employer to take. This means that employers simply have to swallow the cost when a greedy employee manages to get the ear of a Labor Commissioner who believes it’s fine to impose disproportionate sanctions against a hapless employer, so as as that sanction will benefit a “downtrodden” employee.
Why does this sad story matter? It matters because this little bit of social engineering — unknown to most people — is driving business out of California. I personally know of at least two businesses that have just packed up and moved to other states precisely to avoid these kind of hidden costs. Those oh-so-clever judges misinterpreting the law before 2002, and the “compassionate” Legislature enacting unfair laws in 2003, all think their good intentions say it all. They truly believe they’re insulating poor, downtrodden employees from the risk of attorneys fees.
What they’re not thinking about, though, is the fact that these employees will be even more downtrodden when businesses keep pulling out of California, leaving the State without enough jobs — and the government without enough taxpayers to run itself.
Thus, someone who goes too far in “sticking up for the little guy”, ends up hurting the very people he’s trying to help.
Read the whole thing here – trust me, there’s more.