CAUTIONARY TALES EPISODE 17 « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


Labor Enforcement Task Force Targeting “Underground Economy”

The Labor Enforcement Task Force (LETF), a coalition of California agencies directed by the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), has been targeting the “underground economy” for violation of employment laws since 2012.  Members include the Labor Commissioner’s Department (Division of Labor Standards Enforcement), Cal/OSHA, Employment Development Department, Department of Insurance, Contractors State License Board, Bureau of Automotive Repair, Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, and Department of Tax and Fee Administration.

In a recent newsletter, the DIR announced that, in 2017-2018, 93% of businesses that the LETF inspected had violations of labor laws under at least one of the agencies involved.

In just the first quarter of 2018, the LETF imposed $10 million in penalties for wage theft, lack of workers’ compensation insurance, lack of required licenses, and safety violations.  In addition, a finding of no workers compensation insurance resulted in the Labor Commissioner issuing stop orders to 275 employers, and Cal/OSHA required 26 employers to stop using equipment or engaging in a particular operation found to cause “immediate danger of serious injury or fatality.”

The LETF targets industries that are well known for frequent violations of employment laws, including manufacturing, automotive repair, restaurant, agriculture, garment, and construction. These particular frequent violator industries are named in the newsletter, but other industries may also be included.

All enterprises are of course required to comply with applicable employment laws and should consult with an attorney to find out if their business model is legally compliant.  They should fix any issues that currently are not.  If a business is in a targeted industry, it is even more crucial to do so without delay, as it could be a sitting duck at the hands of the LETF or other agencies.

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For further information, please contact Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

Helena Kobrin

September 6, 2018