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Assemblymember Hart to Lead Oversight Hearing on Wage Theft

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO, CA – Assemblymember Gregg Hart (D-Santa Barbara), Chair of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, announced a legislative oversight hearing in response to the recent State Auditor's report on wage theft. The audit identified substantial deficiencies by the California Labor Commissioner's Office in assisting Californians affected by wage theft.

The hearing will take place on Thursday, June 20th upon adjournment of session in Sacramento. The Joint Legislative Audit Committee will be joined by the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee, as well as the Senate Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee.

"The Labor Commissioner's Office clearly needs to do a better job helping Californians who have been victims of wage theft. A backlog of 47,000 claims is unacceptable. A collection rate of 12 percent is unacceptable. Taking an average of more than two years to issue decisions on wage claims is unacceptable," said Assemblymember Gregg Hart. "At the hearing, I want to hear real solutions to these problems from the Labor Commissioner. Californians who have been victims of wage theft deserve better."

Assemblymember Ortega, Chair of the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee, said "Even if we filled all of the current vacant positions, the scale of the problem is so vast, it is time to consider a structural change. Let's explore alternatives ranging from incentivizing employer compliance to empowering employee enforcement. I am prepared to help lead such an exploration."

"I want to acknowledge my colleagues, Senator Glazer and Assemblymember Alvarez, for initiating this audit. I also want to thank the California State Auditor and his office for diligently performing this important audit," said Assemblymember Gregg Hart.

The full audit is available online here.

Gregg Hart represents the California Assembly's 37th Assembly District, which includes Santa Barbara, Goleta, Carpinteria, Buellton, Solvang, Lompoc, Guadalupe, Santa Maria, Orcutt, and Nipomo. He currently serves as the Chair of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee and Assembly Select Committee on the Nonprofit Sector.

CONTACT: Jimmy Wittrock, (916) 319-2037, jimmy.wittrock@asm.ca.gov