California Launches Online System for Reporting Labor Law Violations

Author: Marta Moakley, XpertHR Legal Editor

September 2, 2016

California's Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and its Division of Labor Standards Enforcement have launched an online system for reporting labor law violations. The agency anticipates the system will provide "real time leads on businesses that are breaking labor laws."

The system highlights wage theft, but also makes it easier to report other labor law violations, including:

  • Nonpayment of minimum wage, overtime or business expenses;
  • Failure to provide rest and/or meal periods, itemized wage statements or workers' compensation insurance;
  • Child labor violations; and
  • Violations relating to farm labor contractors, garment manufacturing and unlicensed contractor violations.

Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su stated, "Wage theft and workplace abuse not only hurt workers, they also undermine the safety and stability of communities as they reduce revenues and create an uneven playing field for law-abiding employers."

California first passed the Wage Theft Protection Act of 2011 and then strengthened existing protections last year through Senate Bill 588, which allows the labor commissioner's office to file a lien or levy against the property of an employer cited for wage theft. The enforcement focus is to be expected in a state whose biggest city, Los Angeles, has been called "the wage theft capital of the country."

Federal agencies have been accepting complaints online, including the US Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Other states, such as Colorado, also receive labor law complaints online.