A new report released by the state Labor Commissioner reveals that labor law enforcement over the past two years has broken previous enforcement records. Enforcement efforts in 2011 and 2012 resulted in more minimum and overtime wages found owing to California workers and more monetary penalties for illegal business practices than in any previous years in the past decade.
Some of the key findings of the report, “State of the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement,” include:
- Minimum wage - More than $3 million unpaid minimum wages assessed in 2012 – more than any previous year on record, and an increase of 462 percent from minimum wage assessments in 2010.
- Unpaid overtime – More than $13 million unpaid overtime wages assessed in 2012 – more than any previous year on record, and a 642 percent increase from 2010.
- Civil penalties - More than $51 million in civil penalties assessed in 2012 against employers for violating labor laws – more than any previous year in a decade, and a 150 percent increase from 2010.
- Higher Citation Rate - In 2012, the Labor Commissioner’s Office had the highest rate of civil penalty citations (80 percent) in the past decade (compared to an average citation rate of only 48 percent from 2002 to 2010).
- Industry focus: In 2011 and 2012, the Labor Commissioner’s Office set various records in wage and civil penalty assessments in five major underground economy industries: car wash, restaurant, construction, garment, and agriculture.
- Public works - More than $25 million in wages assessed and civil penalties issued on public works projects in 2012 – the highest amount since 2002.
Understanding California’s complex labor laws is no easy task. State enforcement efforts are on the rise. HR That Works subscribers can get detailed up-to-date information on California’s employment laws and regulations. Not a subscriber? Start a free trial now.