California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced that he has established the Worker Rights and Fair Labor Section (Section) within the California Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Division of Public Rights. Initially operating as a bureau within the Civil Rights Enforcement Section, the establishment of the unit as a new section will expand DOJ’s capacity to protect the health, safety, and rights of workers.
The Workers Rights and Fair Labor Section will work with stakeholders across the board — including federal, state, and local enforcement agencies — to ensure fair labor and business practices.
Wage theft: working with partner agencies to help address systemic deficiencies that result in workers losing out on the wages they are due, including in instances where businesses fail to pay overtime or allow for meal and rest breaks
Health and safety violations: stepping up DOJ’s ability to tackle current and emerging trends such as those brought on by the coronavirus
Employee misclassification: protecting workers from being inappropriately classified as independent contractors, which can allow companies to evade legal obligations such as minimum wage, sick leave, and overtime.