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California Labor Commissioner

labor commission ca

Many employees in California, whether they earn the minimum wage or paid on a salary basis, or they’re working full-time or part-time, often face a lot of issues within their respective workplaces. There are those whose employers engage in activities that violate several federal and state laws such as fraud. There are those who are being subjected to discrimination, harassment or retaliation by their employers that are supposed to promote fairness and equality in the workplace. There are also others who aren’t being paid of their wages, either minimum wage or overtime, or aren’t being provided their necessary meal and rest periods.

In such situations, employees can always exercise their rights by filing their complaints or claims with the appropriate agencies within the State of California, especially if the complaints haven’t been addressed by the companies involved. Such entities were established to smoothen out whatever problems employees have with their employers, making sure that both parties would reap benefits from sorting out these issues.

A great example of an agency that does this is the Office of the California Labor Commissioner. It also goes by the name of the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement or DLSE. This agency, which is under the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), is mainly responsible for making decisions with regards to workers’ wage claims, for investigating allegations of discrimination or retaliation in the workplace and for enforcing several of the state’s employment statutes, including the California Labor Code, as well as the wage orders from the Industrial Welfare Commission or IWC. To ensure that every labor standards are enforced, the DLSE is organized into units.

Aggrieved employees can always file claims with any of the state agencies and entities that focus on California employment, including the DLSE. Basically, it handles some of the primary employment matters that they complaint about:

  • Labor law violations. Claims of violations of the IWC orders with regard to minimum wage, overtime, meal and/or rest periods and recordkeeping, as well as the failure of employers to adhere with regulations regarding workers’ compensation, can be filed with the DLSE through the Bureau of Field Enforcement or BOFE. Any current or former employee may file their claims. Once evaluated, the report about an employer’s violation/s of the abovementioned will be investigated only if it is appropriate. Citations may be issued if the employer in question is found liable for the violation upon further investigation, with the employer even asked to pay due wages to workers.
  • Discrimination or retaliation. Employees can file their complaints with the Office of the Labor Commissioner in California with regard discrimination and/or retaliation in the workplace. However, if it involves discrimination on account of traits protected by the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), then workers may file their claims with another department, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Also, they can file their complaints about their employers’ engagement in illegal activities in violation of the laws on both the federal and state levels.

Indeed, the DLSE or the Labor Commissioner’s Office makes sure that the rights of workers are upheld. Taking immediate action on an employer’s failure to provide workers their wages or its conduct that is discriminatory or retaliatory in nature is important, which is why reporting it to the department would be one of the best things to do in order for them to assert their rights.

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