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Division of Labor Standards Enforcement: Role & Responsibilities

Instructor: Millicent Kelly

Millicent has been teaching at the university level since 2004. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and a Master's degree in Human Resources.

This lesson will review the roles and responsibilities of the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement as they relate to labor laws and enforcement that are designed to protect California's workforce.

Your Son Has A Job

You were quite excited a few months back when your 15-year old son came home and announced he got a part-time job at the local burger place. Things had been going smoothly during summer break, but now that school is back in session, you're not crazy about his 5pm to 10pm school night schedule. When you bump into an old friend from college who is a labor law attorney, you mention the schedule issue and are surprised to hear that your son's employer is violating labor law by not complying with wage and hour laws as they relate to minors. Since your son's requests to work earlier shifts have been ignored, you're considering filing a complaint and are advised by your friend to contact the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.

What is the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement?

The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) is a California state agency under the Department of Industrial Relations and is also referred to as the Labor Commissioner's Office. The primary mission of the DLSE is to protect the wages of California workers by strict enforcement of labor laws and thorough investigation of reported complaints.

DLSE Services

DSLE offers resources to both workers and employers. Through the DSLE workers can:

  • obtain information about their rights
  • file a labor complaint
  • report a labor law violation
  • file a public works complaint
  • file a retaliation complaint
  • obtain an electrician's license

The DSLE also offers services to employers including:

  • providing required notices and posters
  • providing access to information about the wage theft prevention act
  • obtaining licenses, permits, registrations, and certificates
  • providing information about paid sick leave, piece rate compensation, and the domestic worker's bill of rights.

Other resources offered by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement include videos, training, and license verification services.

DLSE Internal Units

The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement has five internal units that provide services to workers and employers. The following is a list of these internal units and their primary functions:

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