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Release Number: 2024-38
Date: May 24, 2024

California Awards 17 Prosecutors $8.55 Million to Prosecute Wage Theft

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: The California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and the Labor Commissioner’s Office (LCO) completed the first cycle of funding for the Workers’ Rights Enforcement Grant Program, which provides opportunities for public prosecutors in California to develop and implement wage theft enforcement programs in their regions.

WHY IT MATTERS: This funding creates opportunities for public prosecutors in California to prosecute wage theft and deter employers from engaging in unlawful labor law practices in the workplace. The grants will enable prosecutors to address wage theft cases in their jurisdictions and provide resources so they can address exploitative labor industry trends, barriers workers confront in reporting violations and obstacles to holding perpetrators accountable within their respective communities.

What Labor Commissioner Lilia García-Brower said: “Wage theft is a persistent problem, and this funding helps address it in local communities across our state. The 17 applications we received demonstrate prosecutors’ commitment to curtail and eradicate this abusive behavior. We look forward to continuing our work with public prosecutors, community organizations and industry leaders to eliminate this serious and costly crime.”

The 17 public prosecutors who applied for the grant will receive awards as detailed below:

Public Prosecutor Award
Alameda District Attorney $335,935
Contra Costa District Attorney $720,000
Fresno City Attorney $720,000
Long Beach City Prosecutor $414,392
Los Angeles City Attorney $317,543
Los Angeles County Counsel $475,000
Los Angeles District Attorney $733,351
Napa District Attorney $102,531
Oakland City Attorney $425,655
Orange County District Attorney $750,000
San Diego City Attorney $669,251
San Diego District Attorney $750,000
San Francisco City Attorney $410,000
San Francisco District Attorney $160,451
San Mateo District Attorney $739,396
Santa Clara County Counsel $679,220
Sonoma District Attorney $147,275

The Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (California Labor Commissioner’s Office) combats wage theft and unfair competition by investigating allegations of illegal and unfair business practices.

The Labor Commissioner’s Office in 2020 launched an interdisciplinary outreach campaign, “Reaching Every Californian.” The campaign amplifies basic protections and builds pathways to affected populations, so workers and employers understand legal protections and obligations, as well as the Labor Commissioner’s enforcement procedures. Californians can follow the Labor Commissioner on Facebook and X (Twitter).

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