California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su honored as top labor and employment lawyer

OAKLAND, Calif., July 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su has again been recognized by the Daily Journal as one of the Top 75 Labor and Employment Attorneys in California. This is the second time Julie Su has received this honor.  Last year was the first time, which was also the first time a state labor commissioner was so recognized. 

"Julie continues to make great strides in enforcing labor law. She has increased pressure on the underground economy by issuing more citations for minimum wage and overtime violations and improving the wage claims process to assist California workers to recover wages and other labor rights denied them," said Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR).  "She is an asset to our executive team and I am delighted that she has received the acknowledgment of the Daily Journal."

A report released in May, "State of the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement," detailed some of the key accomplishments during her tenure as California Labor Commissioner:

  • Minimum wage - over $3 million unpaid minimum wages assessed in 2012 – more than any previous year on record, and an increase of 462% from minimum wage assessments in 2010.
  • Unpaid overtime – more than $13 million unpaid overtime wages assessed in 2012 – more than any previous year on record, and a 642% increase from 2010.
  • Civil penalties - over $51 million in civil penalties assessed in 2012 against employers for violating labor laws – more than any previous year in a decade, and a 150% increase from 2010. 
  • Better targeting - In 2012, the Labor Commissioner's office had the highest rate of civil penalty citations (80%) in the past decade (compared to an average citation rate of only 48% from 2002 to 2010).
  • Public works - over $25 million in wages assessed and civil penalties issued on public works projects in 2012 – the highest amount since 2002.
  • Streamlined processing - the fastest application review process for business licenses and registration applications in the past five years – 50% faster than in 2010. 

Su was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown in April 2011 as California Labor Commissioner and assumed the post to lead DIR's Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE). Prior to her appointment, Su served as the Litigation Director at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, the nation's largest non-profit civil rights organization devoted to issues affecting the Asian American community. In her 17 years as a civil rights lawyer, Su brought landmark lawsuits on behalf of low-wage workers in the underground economy, advocated successfully for protection of immigrant workers that paved the way for federal legislation protecting immigrant victims of crime, and initiated grassroots campaigns against sweatshop abuses. Su has taught at UCLA Law School and Northeastern Law School. She is a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School.

The report details the accomplishments of the Labor Commissioner's office in 2011 and 2012 across all of the Division's enforcement units.

Among its wide-ranging enforcement responsibilities, the Labor Commissioner's office adjudicates wage claims, inspects workplaces for wage and hour violations, enforces prevailing wage rates and apprenticeship standards in public works projects, investigates retaliation complaints, issues licenses and registrations for various businesses and educates the public on labor laws. 

For media inquiries, contact Erika Monterroza at (510) 286-1164 or Peter Melton at (510) 286-7046.

SOURCE Dept. of Industrial Relations



RELATED LINKS
http://www.dir.ca.gov

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