Workers Comp Zone


I’ve got a question for you. Whether you grew up watching “Family Feud” or “I’ve Got A Secret,” we all seem to love a good quiz.

What do car washes, restaurants, landscaping businesses, garment factories, construction firms and farms have in common?

Answer: they’re hotbeds of employment law violations.

Scofflaws are a big problem in California workers’ comp.

Day after day, there seem to be reports that sweeps have discovered that employees are not covered for workers’ comp. Usually, the employer is violating other wage and hour laws. Payroll taxes are not paid. There may be violations of minimum wage and overtime standards. And many of the employees are undocumented.

Jerry Brown, California’s Attorney General, is determined to do something about it. Yesterday, Brown announced the kickoff of a major campaign to crack down on these sorts of companies.

Brown filed a lawsuit against Brinas Corp., a Colorado based drywall contractor that has a large book of business in Southern California.

Brown’s lawsuit seeks major financial penalties under the California Unfair Competition Law. Damages that can be assessed in this type of lawsuit far exceed the penalties that can be enforced by the labor standards investigators who do periodic “sweeps” of sweatshop outfits.

Brown’s idea is to turn up the heat-both politically and financially-on the situation. That’s a great thing, but it won’t be easy, because the problem is so pervasive.

Whatever your views may be on immigration reform, the fact remains that when we have massive amounts of undocumented workers, many employers will take advantage of these workers. More aggressive labor standards enforcement may be a key component of dealing with this problem.

It will also help level the playing field for honest employers. As I’ve noted before, a recent study revealed that California is experiencing massive amounts of workers’ comp premium fraud-fraud that may be in the range of billions of dollars. To see my post on that, click here: … 818-110358

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Julius Young

Category: Political developments