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California Labor Department strategy shift benefits workers

by on
in Human Resources,Overtime Labor Laws

By focusing on wage theft and retaliation claims instead of broad enforcement efforts, California’s Labor Department has managed to assess more than $51 million in civil penalties against businesses found to be in violation of state labor laws.

In 2012, the agency’s Bureau of Field Enforcement uncovered more than $16 million in unpaid minimum wages and overtime pay—more than in any previous year on record. The $51 million in assessed civil penalties represented a 150% increase over 2010 assessments.

The agency’s citation rate following inspections has gone up from 48% to 80%. Cases now go from filing to resolution faster than they have since 2008, despite increasing numbers of complaints.

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