1997 DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINT REPORT
(LABOR CODE 98.75)


Labor Code 98.7 which became effective January 1986, establishes the authority of the Labor Commissioner in the investigation, processing and resolution of employee complaints for discrimination arising under various sections of the Labor Code. The procedures established pursuant to Labor Code 98.7 entail an investigation and or the convening of an investigative hearing after the filing of a complaint alleging discrimination in employment by an employee. In the event that the Labor Commissioner determines that a violation has occurred, the statute authorizes the Labor Commissioner to direct the violator to cease and desist from the violation and to take such action as is deemed necessary to remedy the violation including, where appropriate, rehiring or reinstatement of the aggrieved employee, reimbursement of lost wages and interest thereon, and or payment of reasonable attorney’s fees associated with any investigative hearing by the Labor Commissioner.

Currently, the Division is charged with enforcing twenty one statutes prohibiting discrimination in the work place. While the majority of these statutes are contained in the Labor Code, the Division also enforces statutes contained in the Health and Welfare Code and the Unemployment Insurance Code. Recently, legislation was passed that added Unemployment Insurance Code 1237 to the discrimination statutes enforced by the Division. That Section prohibits a business entity from discharging or discriminating against any person because he or she has sought information from the Employment Department (EDD), concerning his or her rights under the Unemployment Insurance Code or Labor Code, cooperated with any investigation undertaken by EDD or has testified in any proceedings brought pursuant to the Unemployment Insurance Code or the Labor Code.

The following data is submitted in accordance with Labor Code 98.75: Exhibit "A" shows the number of complaints filed or opened under the various Labor Code Sections in 1997. The Division recorded a total of 655 cases filed in 1997. More than one third of all cases opened during the year were complaints filed pursuant to Labor Code Section 98.6, which prohibits retaliation or discrimination in the workplace as a result of filing or intent to file a claim with the Labor Commissioner. These claims numbered 231. The second largest group of complaints were those which arose as a result of employees alleging discrimination in the workplace due to sexual orientation, which comprised 24% of total complaints filed. The third largest group of discrimination complaints filed arose from health and safety issues in the workplace. These complaints, numbering 104, involved employees who claimed discrimination due to reporting safety and health violations on the job.

Exhibit "B" shows the disposition of the various discrimination cases that were processed in 1997. The Division issued determinations in 61 cases, finding for the complainant in 11 of those and for the respondent in 50 cases. Of the total 698 cases closed in 1997, 107 were withdrawn by the complainants before a determination was reached, and 65 cases resulted in voluntary settlements to the satisfaction of both parties.

Beginning in 1993 the Division implemented a statewide centralized Discrimination Complaint Investigation (DCI) Unit with five Deputy Labor Commissioners assigned full-time to investigate all discrimination complaints referred to the Division. The Deputies in the DCI Unit, currently six full-time investigators, receive ongoing training in investigative techniques and report writing in a effort to ensure they all have a thorough knowledge of the discrimination statutes. The efforts of the Division in centralizing and automating the investigative process of discrimination complaints have proved successful during this period of scarce public resources. The Division will continue to review its procedures to ensure the continuing success of the program.

Respectfully Submitted,

 

Jose Millan
State Labor Commissioner

EXHIBIT A


CALENDAR YEAR 1997 DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINTS FILED


Discrimination Complaints
Labor Code Section

Total Cases  
Filed in 1997

98.6
Labor Commissioner Complaints, (LC)

209
98.6 /232 / 1102.1 / 1197.5
LC Complaints/Disclosure of Wages/Sexual Orientation
1
98.6 / 1101 / 1102.1 / 6310
LC Complaints/Political Activity/Sexual Orientation/Safety Complaints
1
98.6 / 1102.1
LC Complaints/Sexual Orientation
2
98.6 / 1102.5
LC Complaints/Whistleblower
3
98.6 / 1102.5 / 1197.5
LC Complaints/Whistleblower/Sex Based Wage Discrimination
1
98.6 / 1102.5 / 6310
LC Complaints/Whistleblower/Safety Complaints Retaliation
2
98.6 / 1197.5
LC Complaints/Sex Based Wage Discrimination
2
98.6 / 6310
C Complaints/Safety Complaint Retaliation
8
98.6 / 6310 / 6311
LC Complaints/Safety Complaint Retaliation/ Refusal to Work
2
230
Jury Duty
24
230.3
Volunteer Firefighter
2
230.8
Visiting a Child's School
1
230 / 6310
Jury Duty/Safety Complaint Retaliation
1
232
Disclosure of Wages
1
1025-1028
Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation
9
1101/1102
Political Activity
3
11102
Political Activity
1
1102.1
Sexual Orientation
151
1102.1 / 1102.5
Sexual Orientation/Whistleblower
1
1102.1 / 1102.5 /6310
Sexual Orientation/Whistleblower/ Safety Cmplt. Retaliation
1
1102.1 / 6310
Sexual Orientation/Safety Complaint Retaliation
1
1102.5
Whistleblower
35
1102.5 / 6310
Whistleblower/Safety Complaint Retaliation
8
1102.5 / 6310 /6311
Whistleblower/Safety Complaint Retaliation/ Refusal to work
1
1102.5 / 6311
Wistleblower/Refusal to work
2
1197.5
Sex-Based Wage Discrimination
15
1596.881
Health & Safety Code
11
2929
Wage Garnishment
7
2930
Shopping Investigatior
1
6310
Safety Complaint Retaliation
104
6310 / 6311
Safety Complaint Retaliation/Refusal to work
31
6311
Refusal to work
14
TOTAL 655

EXHIBIT B


DISPOSITION OF DISCRIMINATION CASES CALENDAR YEAR 1997



DISPOSITION OF DISCRIMINATION CASES


TOTAL

Determinations Issued   61
Determination for Complainant 11  
Determination for Respondent 50  
Investigative Hearings Held 13  
Appeals to Director 20  
Compliance Obtained:
                               Proceedings Settled
  65
Complaints Withdrawn   107
Complaints Abandoned   223
Complaints Dismissed   242
GRAND TOTAL   698