Last year the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) initiated a campaign, entitled “Wage Theft is a Crime,” to educate California workers about the complexities of California’s wage laws. DIR Director Christine Baker stated that the “department’s mission is to protect California’s workers with comprehensive labor laws and enforcement focused on businesses that intentionally skirt the law.” The department’s recent effort is the “Wage Theft is a Crime” campaign which encourages workers, especially those in low-wage industries, to report possible labor code violations within the workplace. In support of this program, educational materials have been distributed through local events, mailings, and digital and print media in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Hmong and Tagalog.

Labor Commissioner Julie Su recently attended a promotional event in Los Angeles in support of this campaign. She stated that “significant steps” have been taken to “increase access to the Labor Commissioner’s Office and the resources available to fight wage theft.” Labor Commissioner Julie Su cites this campaign as one of the ways her office, “continue[s] to remove barriers and push back on the unfair practices of the underground economy.”

The DLSE, a division of the DIR, is responsible for educating the public on labor laws, enforcing workplace investigations for wage and hour violations, adjudicating wage claims, enforcing prevailing wage rates and apprenticeship standards in public works protects, investigating retaliation complaints, and issuing necessary licenses and registrations to California business.

For more information related to this campaign please go to