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CA Labor Commissioner and DIR Continue to Combat Wage Theft in the Workplace

June 30, 2012

In a recent Fullerton, California employment lawyers blog, Vincent Howard discussed the $875,000 settlement announced by Julie A. Su, California's Labor Commissioner this month, where a California construction company was found by the California Department of Industrial Relations' (DIR) to have violated multiple wage and hour violations while working on California public works projects in the Arcadia Unified School District--including failure to pay overtime compensation and prevailing wages.

The DIR's DLSE handles wage claims, investigates public works complaints, as well as discrimination complaints, and enforces California State labor laws. The DLSE's mission is to enforce minimum labor standards, to protect workers from performing under conditions that are unlawful and substandard, and to ensure that employers who comply with the law are protected from those who gain an unfair advantage by breaking the law. The DLSE also has a Public Works Unit that investigates and enforces the proper application of prevailing wage rates for public works construction projects.

As Vincent Howard previously reported in a Carson labor lawyer blog, wage theft is a serious threat in the California workplace that harms both workers and employers, and according to the DIR, also hurts the state economy.

To help fight against employers who engage in California wage theft, the Labor Commissioner developed the Criminal Investigation Unit (CIU) earlier this year--a unit that investigates criminal provisions of the California Labor Code, and holds employers who underpay, underreport, and underbid, accountable for their actions. In January, Su's office also created the Compliance Monitoring Unit in order to effectively enforce prevailing wage laws during a project's life, instead of enforcing laws after the project is finished.

The DIR also recently launched the Labor Enforcement Task Force (LETF), a joint task force effort between several state agencies, in order to fight against the underground economy and help California's business climate improve for employers who play by the rules, and comply with state labor and employment laws.

In March, the Labor Commissioner filed two separate California wage and hour lawsuits against three California carwash businesses, after a DLSE investigation discovered that the establishment's violated California State labor laws by failing to pay workers overtime compensation and minimum wage, among other violations. The Los Angeles labor lawsuits are reportedly seeking over $2,047,464 in back wages, damages and penalties.

Contact Vincent Howard and our labor and employment team at Howard Law, PC today. We can help you with your California labor and employment issue. Call now for a free consultation at 1-800-872-5925.

California Labor Commissioner Reaches Settlement of Over $875,000 for Unpaid Wages, The Business Journals, June 11, 2012

Related Web Resources:

The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH)

Department of Labor (DOL): Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR): Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE)

Related Blog Posts:

CA Labor Commissioner Reaches $875K Settlement for Wage and Hour Violations in Public Works Projects, California Employment Lawyers Blog, June 29, 2012

Riverside Warehouse Workers File Second Wage Theft Lawsuit Against Wal-Mart Contractor, California Employment Lawyers Blog, April 9, 2012

CA Labor Commissioner Julie Su Files $2M Lawsuits Against LA Car Wash Businesses, California Employment Lawyers Blog, March 7, 2012

CA Attorney General Harris Announces $1M Wage and Hour Settlement with Car Washes, California Employment Lawyers Blog, January 12, 2012

Audit Associates Gain Certification for Conditional Collective Action--in Employee Misclassification Lawsuit, California Employment Lawyers Blog, January 10, 2012

Obama and DOL Seek to Extend Federal Wage and Hour Laws to Home Health Care Workers, California Employment Lawyers Blog, December 27, 2011

CA Labor Commissioner Fines Warehouse Staffing Firms for Alleged Labor Violations, California Employment Lawyers Blog, November 21, 2011

Riverside Warehouse Investigated by CA Labor Officials, Sued by Workers for Wage Theft, Abusive Conditions, California Employment Lawyers Blog, November 16, 2011

ZipRealty Sued for $17M by CA Labor Commissioner for Wage and Hour Violations and Employee Misclassification, California Employment Lawyers Blog, October 4, 2011

DOL Continues to Track Down Federal Wage and Hour Law Violations in the Workplace, California Employment Lawyers Blog, September 8, 2011

Former Car Wash Worker Awarded $80K Over Wage and Hour Violations, California Employment Lawyers Blog, June 30, 2011

Attorney General Brown Files Lawsuit Against Eight California Car Washes for $6M, California Employment Lawyers Blog, October 11, 2010

California Labor Commissioner Sues Florida Contractors for Overtime Wage Violations, California Employment Lawyers Blog, June 3, 2010