DLSE - Glossary

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dating relationship

"Dating relationship" means frequent, intimate associations primarily characterized by the expectation of affection or sexual involvement independent of financial considerations. Family Code Section 6210


The Department of Industrial Relation, a California state agency. The Department is also known as "DIR."


See department

discriminatory/retaliatory act

An act and/or action, or series of acts and/or actions taken by an employer against an employee that adversely affects the employee in some aspect of his or her employment as a result of the employee exercising a protected right, engaging in a protected activity, or because the employee falls within a particular category specifically protected by law. An example of a discriminatory/retaliatory act would be an employer discharging an employee because he or she filed a wage claim against their employer with the Labor Commissioner's office.

In order to establish a prima facie case, the employee must show:

  1. That he or she engaged in a protected activity;
  2. That the employer took some adverse action against him or her; and
  3. That there exists a causal connection or nexus between the engaging in the protected activity and the employer's taking of the adverse action.

"Prima facie case" in context used above means a case will suffice until contradicted and overcome by other evidence.

"Engaged in protected activity" means the engaging in or exercising of a right that is protected by law. Some examples of "protected activity" under the Labor Code include:

  1. Filing or threatening to file a claim or complaint with the Labor Commissioner.
  2. Taking time off from work to serve on a jury or appear as a witness in court.
  3. Disclosing or discussing your wages.
  4. Using or attempting to use sick leave to attend to the illness of a child, parent, spouse, domestic partner, or child of the domestic partner of the employee.
  5. Engaging in political activity of your choice.
  6. For complaining about safety or health conditions or practices.

"Adverse action" is an act or action taken by an employer against an employee that works to the employee's detriment in some aspect of his or her employment, including a poor evaluation, surveillance, an unfavorable recommendation for a promotion, less desirable duties, a transfer, demotion, a cut in pay, or a discharge.


The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. The Division is also known as "DLSE" and the "Labor Commissioner's Office." The Division is an agency within the Department of Industrial Relations. The Labor Commissioner is the Chief of the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.


See division