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Release Number: 2024-14
Date: February 16, 2024

The State of California Invests $18 Million to Prosecute Wage Theft  


The California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and the Labor Commissioner’s Office have launched an $18 million Workers’ Rights Enforcement Grant Program creating opportunities for local prosecutors to obtain funding for wage theft prosecutions. In 2024-2025 (Year 1) and 2025-2026 (Year 2), there will be two annual grant award cycles amounting to a total of $8,550,000 each. The Workers’ Rights Enforcement Grant Program will provide grants to eligible public prosecutors to develop and implement a wage theft enforcement program. A public prosecutor is a district attorney, city attorney, county council, or any other city or county prosecutor in California.

For more information and to apply, please visit the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) webpage.

This funding will enhance the capacity of public prosecutors to take action against wage theft – ensuring that labor laws are enforced, violators are prosecuted, and employers are deterred from engaging in practices such as unpaid overtime and minimum wage violations. This investment sends a strong message to employers about the State of California’s commitment to ensuring every Californian is fairly compensated for their labor.

Application, Eligibility, and Funding Essential Details

  • Grant Uses: Staff Salaries/Benefits and Annual Audit Costs
  • $750,000: Maximum per applicant per year
  • Eligible Recipients: Public Prosecutors
  • Register Today: Wage Theft Grant Informational Webinar
    February 22, 2024 @ 11 am PST
    • Need to Know For Workers' rights Enforcement Grant Application

    What DIR Labor Commissioner Lilia García-Brower said:

    “We appreciate the legislature’s support in creating this funding source to incentivize the prosecution of wage theft. This is a serious and persistent problem, which demands increased collaboration with government agencies and community leaders. This grant program will help further our efforts to combat wage theft and unfair competition in the workplace. We look forward to working with local prosecutors in addressing these important issues.”

    Media Contact: Communications@dir.ca.gov, (510) 286-1161