California Labor Code Section 218.5

218.5. (a) In any action brought for the nonpayment of wages, fringe benefits, or health and welfare or pension fund contributions, the court shall award reasonable attorney s fees and costs to the prevailing party if any party to the action requests attorney s fees and costs upon the initiation of the action. However, 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. This section shall not apply to an action brought by the Labor Commissioner. This section shall not apply to a surety issuing a bond pursuant to Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 7000) of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code or to an action to enforce a mechanics lien brought under Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 8400) of Title 2 of Part 6 of Division 4 of the Civil Code.

(b) This section does not apply to any cause of action for which attorney s fees are recoverable under Section 1194.

(Amended (as amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 697, Sec. 42) by Stats. 2013, Ch. 142, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2014.)

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Last modified: September 9, 2016