SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Construction industry subcontractors welcomed yesterday's announcement by the Department of Industrial Relations' (DIR) Labor Commissioner's Office of the creation of the Criminal Investigative Unit (CIU) to uncover employers who commit wage theft and other illegal activities against workers. According to the DIR announcement, the CIU will "level the playing field for California" by targeting employers who try to scam the system and break the law by "underpaying, underbidding and under-reporting."
In the announcement, California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su noted, "We are very excited to announce the creation of this unit, which will be tasked with leveling the playing field for California employers by raising the stakes for those who underpay, underbid and under-report in violation of the law. This is a vital tool in our efforts to step up enforcement to protect California workers and employers struggling to make an honest living."
On behalf of subcontractors throughout California, the California Professional Association of Specialty Contractors (CALPASC) Executive Director Brad Diede commends Commissioner Su and DIR Director Christine Baker for launching the new unit.
"The implementation of the CIU signifies a strong, positive step forward in keeping swindlers from getting work that's deserved by those who play by the rules and creating a healthy economy.
"We appreciate the DIR's role in exposing unlawful subcontractors and its commitment to abolish the underground economy.
"This is one more powerful tool in fighting the war against unscrupulous employers disguising themselves as fully insured while paying employees partially in cash and committing payroll fraud by misclassifying employees or falsifying records.
"The DIR's work with other agencies reflects the purpose of CALPASC's LEVEL Program, designed to promote interaction among state agencies, associations and legitimate contractors to tackle this costly problem."
SOURCE California Professional Association of Specialty Contractors (CALPASC)