California Employment Laws enforcement teams are challenged by Non-Compliance

In 2012 the Department of Industrial Relations put together a task force that would fine employers who were not in compliance with California Employment Laws and Cal-OSHA Standards.

The task force was comprised of several agencies.  A high priority of this task force was to identify and fine California employers that were participating in what is called the underground economy.

Agencies that were involved

  • Employment Development Department
  • Contractors State License Board
  • Board of Equalization
  • The Attorney General
  • Cal-OSHA
  • Environmental Protection Agency

Main areas targeted

  • Failing to pay employees properly
  • Failing to pay overtime as required by wage and hour law
  • Paying employees cash

Results California Employment Laws sweep in 2012

  • Close to 1000 business inspected
  • Total violations assessed close to 790
  • Almost $8,000,000.00
  • 75% of business were found to be in non-compliance

Results of the California Employment Laws sweep 2016

  • Just over 4500 business inspected
  • The number of violations found rose to over 4,000
  • The fines assessed rose to over thirty-five million.
  • 91% of employers were found to be in non-compliance.

The results of the sweeps can be seen in depth by clicking on this link Five -Year Report (2012-2016) to the California Legislature.

In case you are wondering is this kind of sweep legal the answer is yes.  The fact that the non-compliance numbers are growing means that there will be more sweeps in the future.

What can employers expect in the future?

Along with more sweeps, employers can expect the fines and penalties to continue to rise.  The task force has made inroads and the agencies involved have complied lists of employers to target.   The information that makes up the target list comes from several different sources including complaints from customers and employees.

California Employers need to start giving serious thought to their compliance needs.  Cal-OSHA Standards are getting tougher and so are the California Labor Laws.

Add to that the ambulance chasing attorneys that are begging for your employees to turn you in for even the smallest wage and hour infraction it just does not make sense to stay out of compliance.

Enforcement Teams Getting Tougher

For just a moment put yourself in the position of the enforcement officer.  As an enforcement officer, you already know that over 90% of employers are failing to comply.  At some point, these enforcement teams must ask themselves the question “What is it going to take for employers to understand that we are serious?”

Cal-OSHA Enforcement has already changed what they are doing in the field, and the new positions is much tougher that what it used to be.

I would strongly encourage employers get a good Labor Law consultant along with a Cal-OSHA Consulting Firm.  While most firms do one or the other California Employers Services does both.  We have been helping employers since 1997 and we are the Cal-OSHA Experts.

We do everything from employee handbooks that are customized to your business, to state and federal posting and a whole lot more.