(a) It is the policy of this state to vigorously enforce minimum labor standards in order to ensure employees are not required or permitted to work under substandard unlawful conditions or for employers that have not secured the payment of compensation, and to protect employers who comply with the law from those who attempt to gain a competitive advantage at the expense of their workers by failing to comply with minimum labor standards.
(b) In order to ensure that minimum labor standards are adequately enforced, the Labor Commissioner shall establish and maintain a field enforcement unit, which shall be administratively and physically separate from offices of the division that accept and determine individual employee complaints. The unit shall have offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego, Sacramento, and any other locations that the Labor Commissioner deems appropriate. The unit shall have primary responsibility for administering and enforcing those statutes and regulations most effectively enforced through field investigations, including Sections 226, 1021, 1021.5, 1193.5, 1193.6, 1194.5, 1197, 1198, 1771, 1776, 1777.5, 2651, 2673, 2675, and 3700, in accordance with the plan adopted by the Labor Commissioner pursuant to subdivision (c). Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the authority of this unit in enforcing any statute or regulation in the course of its investigations.
(c) The Labor Commissioner shall adopt an enforcement plan for the field enforcement unit. The plan shall identify priorities for investigations to be undertaken by the unit that ensure the available resources will be concentrated in industries, occupations, and areas in which employees are relatively low paid and unskilled, and those in which there has been a history of violations of the statutes cited in subdivision (b), and those with high rates of noncompliance with Section 3700.
(d) The Labor Commissioner shall annually report to the Legislature, not later than March 1, concerning the effectiveness of the field enforcement unit. The report shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
(1) The enforcement plan adopted by the Labor Commissioner pursuant to subdivision (c), and the rationale for the priorities identified in the plan.
(2) The number of establishments investigated by the unit, and the number of types of violations found.
(3) The amount of wages found to be unlawfully withheld from workers, and the amount of unpaid wages recovered for workers.
(4) The amount of penalties and unpaid wages transferred to the General Fund as a result of the efforts of the unit.
(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 6, Sec. 23. Effective January 1, 2003.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018