The California Labor Board is a name commonly used when referring to the California Labor Commission. The Labor Commission is tasked with the enforcement of certain labor laws. To accomplish this task, the Labor Commission allows for employees who believed they have experienced a violation of labor laws to report that information, which they are able to do online or by mail. Common reports to the Labor Commission include failure to pay minimum wage, overtime, or business expenses; failure to provide meal or rest breaks, itemized wage statements, or workers’ compensation insurance; and other labor law violations such as child labor laws.
However, there are time limitations as to when an employee may file a report with the Labor Commission.
A report that is based on an oral agreement must be filed within two years from the date of the violation.
A report in which a law or regulation creates a liability, such as a minimum wage or overtime violation, must be filed within three years from the date of violation.
A report that is based on a written agreement must be filed within four years from the date of violation.
Once a report is filed with the Labor Commission both the employee and employer can expect the following events to take place. First, the employee and employer will receive a Notice from the Labor Commissioner setting a date and time for a settlement conference with a Deputy Labor Commissioner. At the settlement conference the employer and employee will have an opportunity to discuss, and potentially settle, the employee’s claim. The Deputy Labor Commissioner also provide input as to the legal basis the employee may have to proceed with the claim. As an employee you will want to bring copies of any documents that support the employment claims you have reported, but there is no need to bring copies of any documents you have already submitted with your report. As an employer, you will want to bring copies of any documents that dispute the employee’s claim.
After the settlement conference a hearing may be scheduled. A hearing will only be scheduled if the claim does not settle at the settlement conference and the Deputy Labor Commissioner find there is a legal basis to proceed. If the claim continues to a hearing both the employee and employer will receive a Notice from the Labor Commissioner setting a date and time for hearing. At the hearing both the employee and employer should be prepared to present evidence regarding the claim, which includes calling witnesses.
At DuFord Law, our employment law practice provides assistance to both San Diego employer and employees. Because California employment law is frequently changing, it is important to have your employment policies prepared or reviewed by a San Diego attorney to avoid finding yourself in front of the Labor Commission. By having a San Diego attorney prepare and/or review your employment policies, you can at least be apprised on changes in the law that may affect your business.