California has amended Cal. Lab. Code § 218.5 to limit the circumstances under which an employer may recover its attorney’s fees and costs as the prevailing party in a lawsuit in which an employee has sued for nonpayment of wages, fringe benefits, or health and welfare or pension fund contributions ().
Prior to enactment of Senate Bill 462, the prevailing party (either the employer or the employee) could seek recovery of his, her or its attorney’s fees and costs.
As amended, the statute provides that “if the prevailing party in the court action is not an employee, attorney’s fees and costs shall be awarded pursuant to this section only if the court finds that the employee brought the court action in bad faith.” , 53 Cal. 4th 1244 (2012