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AB-789 Itemized wage statements: violations: actions: Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 03/21/2019 09:00 PM
AB789:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 21, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 789


Introduced by Assembly Member Flora

February 20, 2019


An act to amend Section 90.5 of the Labor Code, relating to employment. An act to amend Sections 226, 226.3, 2699, 2699.3, and 2699.5 of the Labor Code, relating to employment.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 789, as amended, Flora. Labor standards enforcement. Itemized wage statements: violations: actions: Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004.
Existing law requires an employer, either semimonthly or at the time of each payment of wages, to furnish their employees with an accurate itemized wage statement showing specified information.
Existing law authorizes an employee to recover for a knowing and intentional violation of that provision actual damages, or a specified alternative dollar amount, whichever is greater, and to be awarded costs and attorney’s fees. Existing law authorizes an employee to also bring an action for injunctive relief to ensure compliance with that provision, and is entitled to an award of costs and reasonable attorney’s fees. Existing law authorizes civil penalties of $250 per employee for violation of the above-specified provision for an initial citation and $1,000 per employee for each violation in a subsequent citation. The Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 provides, as an alternative to civil penalties being assessed and collected by the Labor and Workforce Development Agency, that civil penalties may be recovered through a civil action brought by an aggrieved employee on behalf of themself and other employees. The act requires the employee to follow prescribed procedures before bringing an action and authorizes an employer to cure specified itemized wage statement violations within 33 days of receiving notice of the violation.
This bill would require, for an action under any of the above provisions to recover for any violation of the itemized wage statement requirement, that an employee or representative give prescribed notice of the alleged violation to the employer. The bill would authorize an employer to cure the alleged violation within 65 calendar days of the postmark date of the notice. The bill would allow an action to commence only if the alleged violation is not cured within that period. The bill would exempt certain violations from these notice and cure provisions.
With respect to the Labor Code Private Attorneys Generals Act, this bill would authorize an employer to cure any violation brought under the act regarding itemized wage statements by using the cure procedure described above and would extend the curing period to 65 days.
This bill would also make various conforming changes in this regard.

Existing law requires the Labor Commissioner to establish and maintain a field enforcement unit in order to ensure that minimum labor standards are adequately enforced.

This bill would make nonsubstantive changes to this provision.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 226 of the Labor Code is amended to read:

226.
 (a) An employer, semimonthly or at the time of each payment of wages, shall furnish to his or her their employee, either as a detachable part of the check, draft, or voucher paying the employee’s wages, or separately if wages are paid by personal check or cash, an accurate itemized statement in writing showing (1) gross wages earned, (2) total hours worked by the employee, except as provided in subdivision (j), (3) the number of piece-rate units earned and any applicable piece rate if the employee is paid on a piece-rate basis, (4) all deductions, provided that all deductions made on written orders of the employee may be aggregated and shown as one item, (5) net wages earned, (6) the inclusive dates of the period for which the employee is paid, (7) the name of the employee and only the last four digits of his or her the employee’s social security number or an employee identification number other than a social security number, (8) the name and address of the legal entity that is the employer and, if the employer is a farm labor contractor, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 1682, the name and address of the legal entity that secured the services of the employer, and (9) all applicable hourly rates in effect during the pay period and the corresponding number of hours worked at each hourly rate by the employee and, beginning July 1, 2013, if the employer is a temporary services employer as defined in Section 201.3, the rate of pay and the total hours worked for each temporary services assignment. The deductions made from payment of wages shall be recorded in ink or other indelible form, properly dated, showing the month, day, and year, and a copy of the statement and the record of the deductions shall be kept on file by the employer for at least three years at the place of employment or at a central location within the State of California. For purposes of this subdivision, “copy” includes a duplicate of the itemized statement provided to an employee or a computer-generated record that accurately shows all of the information required by this subdivision.
(b) An employer that is required by this code or any regulation adopted pursuant to this code to keep the information required by subdivision (a) shall afford current and former employees the right to inspect or receive a copy of records pertaining to their employment, upon reasonable request to the employer. The employer may take reasonable steps to ensure the identity of a current or former employee. If the employer provides copies of the records, the actual cost of reproduction may be charged to the current or former employee.
(c) An employer who receives a written or oral request to inspect or receive a copy of records pursuant to subdivision (b) pertaining to a current or former employee shall comply with the request as soon as practicable, but no later than 21 calendar days from the date of the request. A violation of this subdivision is an infraction. Impossibility of performance, not caused by or a result of a violation of law, shall be an affirmative defense for an employer in any action alleging a violation of this subdivision. An employer may designate the person to whom a request under this subdivision will be made.
(d) This section does not apply to any an employer of a person employed by the owner or occupant of a residential dwelling whose duties are incidental to the ownership, maintenance, or use of the dwelling, including the care and supervision of children, or whose duties are personal and not in the course of the trade, business, profession, or occupation of the owner or occupant.
(e) (1) An employee suffering injury as a result of a knowing and intentional failure by an employer to comply with subdivision (a) is entitled to recover the greater of all actual damages or fifty dollars ($50) for the initial pay period in which a violation occurs and one hundred dollars ($100) per employee for each violation in a subsequent pay period, not to exceed an aggregate penalty of four thousand dollars ($4,000), and is entitled to an award of costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.
(2) (A) An employee is deemed to suffer injury for purposes of this subdivision if the employer fails to provide a wage statement.
(B) An employee is deemed to suffer injury for purposes of this subdivision if the employer fails to provide accurate and complete information as required by any one or more of items (1) to (9), inclusive, of subdivision (a) and the employee cannot promptly and easily determine from the wage statement alone one or more of the following:
(i) The amount of the gross wages or net wages paid to the employee during the pay period or any of the other information required to be provided on the itemized wage statement pursuant to items (2) to (4), inclusive, (6), and (9) of subdivision (a).
(ii) Which deductions the employer made from gross wages to determine the net wages paid to the employee during the pay period. Nothing in this subdivision alters the ability of the employer to aggregate deductions consistent with the requirements of item (4) of subdivision (a).
(iii) The name and address of the employer and, if the employer is a farm labor contractor, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 1682, the name and address of the legal entity that secured the services of the employer during the pay period.
(iv) The name of the employee and only the last four digits of his or her the employee’s social security number or an employee identification number other than a social security number.
(C) For purposes of this paragraph, “promptly and easily determine” means a reasonable person would be able to readily ascertain the information without reference to other documents or information.
(3) For purposes of this subdivision, a “knowing and intentional failure” does not include an isolated and unintentional payroll error due to a clerical or inadvertent mistake. In reviewing for compliance with this section, the factfinder may consider as a relevant factor whether the employer, prior to an alleged violation, has adopted and is in compliance with a set of policies, procedures, and practices that fully comply with this section.
(f) A failure by an employer to permit a current or former employee to inspect or receive a copy of records within the time set forth in subdivision (c) entitles the current or former employee or the Labor Commissioner to recover a seven-hundred-fifty-dollar ($750) penalty from the employer.
(g) The listing by an employer of the name and address of the legal entity that secured the services of the employer in the itemized statement required by subdivision (a) shall not create any liability on the part of that legal entity.
(h) An employee may also bring an action for injunctive relief to ensure compliance with this section, and is entitled to an award of costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.
(i) This section does not apply to the state, to any city, county, city and county, district, or to any other governmental entity, except that if the state or a city, county, city and county, district, or other governmental entity furnishes its employees with a check, draft, or voucher paying the employee’s wages, the state or a city, county, city and county, district, or other governmental entity shall use no more than the last four digits of the employee’s social security number or shall use an employee identification number other than the social security number on the itemized statement provided with the check, draft, or voucher.
(j) An itemized wage statement furnished by an employer pursuant to subdivision (a) shall not be required to show total hours worked by the employee if any of the following apply:
(1) The employee’s compensation is solely based on salary and the employee is exempt from payment of overtime under subdivision (a) of Section 515 or any applicable order of the Industrial Welfare Commission.
(2) The employee is exempt from the payment of minimum wage and overtime under any of the following:
(A) The exemption for persons employed in an executive, administrative, or professional capacity provided in any applicable order of the Industrial Welfare Commission.
(B) The exemption for outside salespersons provided in any applicable order of the Industrial Welfare Commission.
(C) The overtime exemption for computer software professionals paid on a salaried basis provided in Section 515.5.
(D) The exemption for individuals who are the parent, spouse, child, or legally adopted child of the employer provided in any applicable order of the Industrial Welfare Commission.
(E) The exemption for participants, director, and staff of a live-in alternative to incarceration rehabilitation program with special focus on substance abusers provided in Section 8002 of the Penal Code.
(F) The exemption for any crew member employed on a commercial passenger fishing boat licensed pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 7920) of Chapter 1 of Part 3 of Division 6 of the Fish and Game Code provided in any applicable order of the Industrial Welfare Commission.
(G) The exemption for any individual participating in a national service program provided in any applicable order of the Industrial Welfare Commission.
(k) (1) Notwithstanding any other law, except as provided in paragraphs (5) and (6), an action to recover damages, statutory penalties, or civil penalties under subdivision (e) shall commence only if the employee or representative has given written notice by certified mail to the employer of the alleged violation of subdivision (a), including the facts and theories to support the alleged violation, and the employer has had the opportunity to cure the alleged violation as provided in paragraph (2).
(2) The employer may cure the alleged violation within 65 calendar days of the postmark date of the notice sent by the employee or representative.
(3) If the alleged violation is cured within the 65-day period, an action to recover damages, statutory penalties, or civil penalties under this section shall not commence.
(4) If the alleged violation is not cured within the 65-day period, an action to recover damages, statutory penalties, or civil penalties under this section may commence.
(5) This subdivision shall not apply if, in addition to the alleged violation of subdivision (a), the employer fails to make a complete and timely payment of all wages due to the employee.
(6) This subdivision shall not apply if the employer fails to provide an itemized wage statement.

SEC. 2.

 Section 226.3 of the Labor Code is amended to read:

226.3.
  (a)  Any employer who violates subdivision (a) of Section 226 shall be subject to a civil penalty in the amount of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) per employee per violation in an initial citation and one thousand dollars ($1,000) per employee for each violation in a subsequent citation, for which the employer fails to provide the employee a wage deduction statement or fails to keep the records required in subdivision (a) of Section 226. The civil penalties provided for in this section are in addition to any other penalty provided by law. In enforcing this section, the Labor Commissioner shall take into consideration whether the violation was inadvertent, and in his or her the Labor Commissioner’s discretion, may decide not to penalize an employer for a first violation when that violation was due to a clerical error or inadvertent mistake.
(b) (1) Notwithstanding any other law, except as provided in paragraphs (5) and (6), an action to recover civil penalties under this section for a violation of subdivision (a) of Section 226 shall commence only if the employee or representative has given written notice by certified mail to the employer of the alleged violation of subdivision (a) of Section 226, including the facts and theories to support the alleged violation, and the employer has had the opportunity to cure the alleged violation as provided in paragraph (2).
(2) The employer may cure the alleged violation within 65 calendar days of the postmark date of the notice sent by the employee or representative.
(3) If the alleged violation is cured within the 65-day period, an action to recover civil penalties under this section shall not commence.
(4) If the alleged violation is not cured within the 65-day period, an action to recover civil penalties under this section for a violation of subdivision (a) of Section 226 may commence.
(5) This subdivision shall not apply if, in addition to the alleged violation of subdivision (a) of Section 226, the employer fails to make a complete and timely payment of all wages due to the employee.
(6) This subdivision shall not apply if the employer fails to provide an itemized wage statement.

SEC. 3.

 Section 2699 of the Labor Code is amended to read:

2699.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any a provision of this code that provides for a civil penalty to be assessed and collected by the Labor and Workforce Development Agency or any of its departments, divisions, commissions, boards, agencies, or employees, for a violation of this code, may, as an alternative, be recovered through a civil action brought by an aggrieved employee on behalf of himself or herself themself and other current or former employees pursuant to the procedures specified in Section 2699.3.
(b) For purposes of this part, “person” has the same meaning as defined in Section 18.
(c) For purposes of this part, “aggrieved employee” means any person who was employed by the alleged violator and against whom one or more of the alleged violations was committed.
(d) For purposes of this part, “cure” means that the employer abates each violation alleged by any aggrieved employee, the employer is in compliance with the underlying statutes as specified in the notice required by this part, and any aggrieved employee is made whole. A violation of paragraph (6) or (8) of subdivision (a) of Section 226 shall only be considered cured upon a showing that the employer has provided a fully compliant, itemized wage statement to each aggrieved employee for each pay period for the three-year period prior to the date of the written notice sent pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 2699.3.
(e) (1) For purposes of this part, whenever the Labor and Workforce Development Agency, or any of its departments, divisions, commissions, boards, agencies, or employees, has discretion to assess a civil penalty, a court is authorized to exercise the same discretion, subject to the same limitations and conditions, to assess a civil penalty.
(2) In any action by an aggrieved employee seeking recovery of a civil penalty available under subdivision (a) or (f), a court may award a lesser amount than the maximum civil penalty amount specified by this part if, based on the facts and circumstances of the particular case, to do otherwise would result in an award that is unjust, arbitrary and oppressive, or confiscatory.
(f) For all provisions of this code except those for which a civil penalty is specifically provided, there is established a civil penalty for a violation of these provisions, as follows:
(1) If, at the time of the alleged violation, the person does not employ one or more employees, the civil penalty is five hundred dollars ($500).
(2) If, at the time of the alleged violation, the person employs one or more employees, the civil penalty is one hundred dollars ($100) for each aggrieved employee per pay period for the initial violation and two hundred dollars ($200) for each aggrieved employee per pay period for each subsequent violation.
(3) If the alleged violation is a failure to act by the Labor and Workplace Development Agency, or any of its departments, divisions, commissions, boards, agencies, or employees, there shall be no civil penalty.
(g) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), an aggrieved employee may recover the civil penalty described in subdivision (f) in a civil action pursuant to the procedures specified in Section 2699.3 filed on behalf of himself or herself themself and other current or former employees against whom one or more of the alleged violations was committed. Any employee who prevails in any action shall be entitled to an award of reasonable attorney’s fees and costs, including any filing fee paid pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) or subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 2699.3. Nothing in this part shall operate to limit an employee’s right to pursue or recover other remedies available under state or federal law, either separately or concurrently with an action taken under this part.
(2) No action shall be brought under this part for any violation of a posting, notice, agency reporting, or filing requirement of this code, except where the filing or reporting requirement involves mandatory payroll or workplace injury reporting.
(h) No action may be brought under this section by an aggrieved employee if the agency or any of its departments, divisions, commissions, boards, agencies, or employees, on the same facts and theories, cites a person within the timeframes set forth in Section 2699.3 for a violation of the same section or sections of the Labor Code under which the aggrieved employee is attempting to recover a civil penalty on behalf of himself themself or herself or others or initiates a proceeding pursuant to Section 98.3.
(i) Except as provided in subdivision (j), civil penalties recovered by aggrieved employees shall be distributed as follows: 75 percent to the Labor and Workforce Development Agency for enforcement of labor laws, including the administration of this part, and for education of employers and employees about their rights and responsibilities under this code, to be continuously appropriated to supplement and not supplant the funding to the agency for those purposes; and 25 percent to the aggrieved employees.
(j) Civil penalties recovered under paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) shall be distributed to the Labor and Workforce Development Agency for enforcement of labor laws, including the administration of this part, and for education of employers and employees about their rights and responsibilities under this code, to be continuously appropriated to supplement and not supplant the funding to the agency for those purposes.
(k) Nothing contained in this part is intended to alter or otherwise affect the exclusive remedy provided by the workers’ compensation provisions of this code for liability against an employer for the compensation for any injury to or death of an employee arising out of and in the course of employment.
(l) (1) For cases filed on or after July 1, 2016, the aggrieved employee or representative shall, within 10 days following commencement of a civil action pursuant to this part, provide the Labor and Workforce Development Agency with a file-stamped copy of the complaint that includes the case number assigned by the court.
(2) The superior court shall review and approve any settlement of any civil action filed pursuant to this part. The proposed settlement shall be submitted to the agency at the same time that it is submitted to the court.
(3) A copy of the superior court’s judgment in any civil action filed pursuant to this part and any other order in that action that either provides for or denies an award of civil penalties under this code shall be submitted to the agency within 10 days after entry of the judgment or order.
(4) Items required to be submitted to the Labor and Workforce Development Agency under this subdivision or to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (b) of Section 2699.3, shall be transmitted online through the same system established for the filing of notices and requests under subdivisions (a) and (c) of Section 2699.3.
(m) This section shall not apply to the recovery of administrative and civil penalties in connection with the workers’ compensation law as contained in Division 1 (commencing with Section 50) and Division 4 (commencing with Section 3200), including, but not limited to, Sections 129.5 and 132a.
(n) The agency or any of its departments, divisions, commissions, boards, or agencies may promulgate regulations to implement the provisions of this part.
(o) (1) Notwithstanding any other law, except as provided in paragraphs (5) and (6), an action to recover civil penalties under this section for a violation of subdivision (a) of Section 226 shall commence only if the employee or representative has given written notice by certified mail to the employer of the alleged violation of subdivision (a) of Section 226, including the facts and theories to support the alleged violation, and the employer has had the opportunity to cure the alleged violation as provided in paragraph (2).
(2) The employer may cure the alleged violation within 65 calendar days of the postmark date of the notice sent by the employee or representative.
(3) If the alleged violation is cured within the 65-day period, an action to recover civil penalties under this section shall not commence.
(4) If the alleged violation is not cured within the 65-day period, an action to recover civil penalties under this section may commence.
(5) This subdivision shall not apply if, in addition to the alleged violation of subdivision (a) of Section 226, the employer fails to make a complete and timely payment of all wages due to the employee.
(6) This subdivision shall not apply if the employer fails to provide an itemized wage statement.

SEC. 4.

 Section 2699.3 of the Labor Code, as amended by Section 190 of Chapter 31 of the Statutes of 2016, is amended to read:

2699.3.
 (a) A civil action by an aggrieved employee pursuant to subdivision (a) or (f) of Section 2699 alleging a violation of any provision listed in Section 2699.5 shall commence only after all of the following requirements have been met:
(1) (A) The aggrieved employee or representative shall give written notice by online filing with the Labor and Workforce Development Agency and by certified mail to the employer of the specific provisions of this code alleged to have been violated, including the facts and theories to support the alleged violation.
(B) A notice filed with the Labor and Workforce Development Agency pursuant to subparagraph (A) and any employer response to that notice shall be accompanied by a filing fee of seventy-five dollars ($75). The fees required by this subparagraph are subject to waiver in accordance with the requirements of Sections 68632 and 68633 of the Government Code.
(C) The fees paid pursuant to subparagraph (B) shall be paid into the Labor and Workforce Development Fund and used for the purposes specified in subdivision (j) of Section 2699.
(2) (A) The agency shall notify the employer and the aggrieved employee or representative by certified mail that it does not intend to investigate the alleged violation within 60 calendar days of the postmark date of the notice received pursuant to paragraph (1). Upon receipt of that notice or if no notice is provided within 65 calendar days of the postmark date of the notice given pursuant to paragraph (1), the aggrieved employee may commence a civil action pursuant to Section 2699.
(B) If the agency intends to investigate the alleged violation, it shall notify the employer and the aggrieved employee or representative by certified mail of its decision within 65 calendar days of the postmark date of the notice received pursuant to paragraph (1). Within 120 calendar days of that decision, the agency may investigate the alleged violation and issue any appropriate citation. If the agency, during the course of its investigation, determines that additional time is necessary to complete the investigation, it may extend the time by not more than 60 additional calendar days and shall issue a notice of the extension. If the agency determines that no citation will be issued, it shall notify the employer and aggrieved employee of that decision within five business days thereof by certified mail. Upon receipt of that notice or if no citation is issued by the agency within the time limits prescribed by subparagraph (A) and this subparagraph or if the agency fails to provide timely or any notification, the aggrieved employee may commence a civil action pursuant to Section 2699.
(C) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a plaintiff may as a matter of right amend an existing complaint to add a cause of action arising under this part at any time within 60 days of the time periods specified in this part.
(D) The time limits prescribed by this paragraph shall only apply if the notice required by paragraph (1) is filed with the agency on or after July 1, 2016. For notices submitted prior to July 1, 2016, the time limits in effect on the postmark date of the notice shall apply.
(b) A civil action by an aggrieved employee pursuant to subdivision (a) or (f) of Section 2699 alleging a violation of any provision of Division 5 (commencing with Section 6300) other than those listed in Section 2699.5 shall commence only after the following requirements have been met:
(1) The aggrieved employee or representative shall give notice by online filing with the Division of Occupational Safety and Health and by certified mail to the employer, with a copy to the Labor and Workforce Development Agency, of the specific provisions of Division 5 (commencing with Section 6300) alleged to have been violated, including the facts and theories to support the alleged violation.
(2) (A) The division shall inspect or investigate the alleged violation pursuant to the procedures specified in Division 5 (commencing with Section 6300).
(i) If the division issues a citation, the employee may not commence an action pursuant to Section 2699. The division shall notify the aggrieved employee and employer in writing within 14 calendar days of certifying that the employer has corrected the violation.
(ii) If by the end of the period for inspection or investigation provided for in Section 6317, the division fails to issue a citation and the aggrieved employee disputes that decision, the employee may challenge that decision in the superior court. In such an action, the superior court shall follow precedents of the Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board. If the court finds that the division should have issued a citation and orders the division to issue a citation, then the aggrieved employee may not commence a civil action pursuant to Section 2699.
(iii) A complaint in superior court alleging a violation of Division 5 (commencing with Section 6300) other than those listed in Section 2699.5 shall include therewith a copy of the notice of violation provided to the division and employer pursuant to paragraph (1).
(iv) The superior court shall not dismiss the action for nonmaterial differences in facts or theories between those contained in the notice of violation provided to the division and employer pursuant to paragraph (1) and the complaint filed with the court.
(B) If the division fails to inspect or investigate the alleged violation as provided by Section 6309, the provisions of subdivision (c) shall apply to the determination of the alleged violation.
(3) (A) Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to alter the authority of the division to permit long-term abatement periods or to enter into memoranda of understanding or joint agreements with employers in the case of long-term abatement issues.
(B) Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to authorize an employee to file a notice or to commence a civil action pursuant to Section 2699 during the period that an employer has voluntarily entered into consultation with the division to ameliorate a condition in that particular worksite.
(C) An employer who has been provided notice pursuant to this section may not then enter into consultation with the division in order to avoid an action under this section.
(4) The superior court shall review and approve any proposed settlement of alleged violations of the provisions of Division 5 (commencing with Section 6300) to ensure that the settlement provisions are at least as effective as the protections or remedies provided by state and federal law or regulation for the alleged violation. The provisions of the settlement relating to health and safety laws shall be submitted to the division at the same time that they are submitted to the court. This requirement shall be construed to authorize and permit the division to comment on those settlement provisions, and the court shall grant the division’s commentary the appropriate weight.
(c) A civil action by an aggrieved employee pursuant to subdivision (a) or (f) of Section 2699 alleging a violation of any provision other than those listed in Section 2699.5 or Division 5 (commencing with Section 6300) shall commence only after the following requirements have been met:
(1) (A) The aggrieved employee or representative shall give written notice by online filing with the Labor and Workforce Development Agency and by certified mail to the employer of the specific provisions of this code alleged to have been violated, including the facts and theories to support the alleged violation.
(B) A notice filed with the Labor and Workforce Development Agency pursuant to subparagraph (A) and any employer response to that notice shall be accompanied by a filing fee of seventy-five dollars ($75). The fees required by this subparagraph are subject to waiver in accordance with the requirements of Sections 68632 and 68633 of the Government Code.
(C) The fees paid pursuant to subparagraph (B) shall be paid into the Labor and Workforce Development Fund and used for the purposes specified in subdivision (j) of Section 2699.
(2) (A) The employer may cure the alleged violation within 33 65 calendar days of the postmark date of the notice sent by the aggrieved employee or representative. The employer shall give written notice within that period of time by certified mail to the aggrieved employee or representative and by online filing with the agency if the alleged violation is cured, including a description of actions taken, and no civil action pursuant to Section 2699 may commence. If the alleged violation is not cured within the 33-day 65-day period, the employee may commence a civil action pursuant to Section 2699.
(B) (i) Subject to the limitation in clause (ii), no employer may avail himself or herself themselves of the notice and cure provisions of this subdivision more than three times in a 12-month period for the same violation or violations contained in the notice, regardless of the location of the worksite.
(ii) No employer may avail himself or herself themselves of the notice and cure provisions of this subdivision with respect to alleged violations of paragraph (6) or (8) of subdivision (a) of Section 226 more than once in a 12-month period for the same violation or violations contained in the notice, regardless of the location of the worksite.
(3) If the aggrieved employee disputes that the alleged violation has been cured, the aggrieved employee or representative shall provide written notice by online filing with the agency and by certified mail to the employer, including specified grounds to support that dispute, to the employer and the agency. Within 17 calendar days of the receipt of that notice, the agency shall review the actions taken by the employer to cure the alleged violation, and provide written notice of its decision by certified mail to the aggrieved employee and the employer. The agency may grant the employer three additional business days to cure the alleged violation. If the agency determines that the alleged violation has not been cured or if the agency fails to provide timely or any notification, the employee may proceed with the civil action pursuant to Section 2699. If the agency determines that the alleged violation has been cured, but the employee still disagrees, the employee may appeal that determination to the superior court.
(d) The periods specified in this section are not counted as part of the time limited for the commencement of the civil action to recover penalties under this part.
(e) This section shall remain in effect only until July 1, 2021, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before July 1, 2021, deletes or extends that date.

SEC. 5.

 Section 2699.3 of the Labor Code, as added by Section 191 of Chapter 31 of the Statutes of 2016, is amended to read:

2699.3.
 (a) A civil action by an aggrieved employee pursuant to subdivision (a) or (f) of Section 2699 alleging a violation of any provision listed in Section 2699.5 shall commence only after all of the following requirements have been met:
(1) (A) The aggrieved employee or representative shall give written notice by online filing with the Labor and Workforce Development Agency and by certified mail to the employer of the specific provisions of this code alleged to have been violated, including the facts and theories to support the alleged violation.
(B) A notice filed with the Labor and Workforce Development Agency pursuant to subparagraph (A) and any employer response to that notice shall be accompanied by a filing fee of seventy-five dollars ($75). The fees required by this subparagraph are subject to waiver in accordance with the requirements of Sections 68632 and 68633 of the Government Code.
(C) The fees paid pursuant to subparagraph (B) shall be paid into the Labor and Workforce Development Fund and used for the purposes specified in subdivision (j) of Section 2699.
(2) (A) The agency shall notify the employer and the aggrieved employee or representative by certified mail that it does not intend to investigate the alleged violation within 60 calendar days of the postmark date of the notice received pursuant to paragraph (1). Upon receipt of that notice or if no notice is provided within 65 calendar days of the postmark date of the notice given pursuant to paragraph (1), the aggrieved employee may commence a civil action pursuant to Section 2699.
(B) If the agency intends to investigate the alleged violation, it shall notify the employer and the aggrieved employee or representative by certified mail of its decision within 65 calendar days of the postmark date of the notice received pursuant to paragraph (1). Within 120 calendar days of that decision, the agency may investigate the alleged violation and issue any appropriate citation. If the agency determines that no citation will be issued, it shall notify the employer and aggrieved employee of that decision within five business days thereof by certified mail. Upon receipt of that notice or if no citation is issued by the agency within the time limits prescribed by subparagraph (A) and this subparagraph or if the agency fails to provide timely or any notification, the aggrieved employee may commence a civil action pursuant to Section 2699.
(C) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a plaintiff may as a matter of right amend an existing complaint to add a cause of action arising under this part at any time within 60 days of the time periods specified in this part.
(b) A civil action by an aggrieved employee pursuant to subdivision (a) or (f) of Section 2699 alleging a violation of any provision of Division 5 (commencing with Section 6300) other than those listed in Section 2699.5 shall commence only after the following requirements have been met:
(1) The aggrieved employee or representative shall give notice by online filing with the Division of Occupational Safety and Health and by certified mail to the employer, with a copy to the Labor and Workforce Development Agency, of the specific provisions of Division 5 (commencing with Section 6300) alleged to have been violated, including the facts and theories to support the alleged violation.
(2) (A) The division shall inspect or investigate the alleged violation pursuant to the procedures specified in Division 5 (commencing with Section 6300).
(i) If the division issues a citation, the employee may not commence an action pursuant to Section 2699. The division shall notify the aggrieved employee and employer in writing within 14 calendar days of certifying that the employer has corrected the violation.
(ii) If by the end of the period for inspection or investigation provided for in Section 6317, the division fails to issue a citation and the aggrieved employee disputes that decision, the employee may challenge that decision in the superior court. In such an action, the superior court shall follow precedents of the Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board. If the court finds that the division should have issued a citation and orders the division to issue a citation, then the aggrieved employee may not commence a civil action pursuant to Section 2699.
(iii) A complaint in superior court alleging a violation of Division 5 (commencing with Section 6300) other than those listed in Section 2699.5 shall include therewith a copy of the notice of violation provided to the division and employer pursuant to paragraph (1).
(iv) The superior court shall not dismiss the action for nonmaterial differences in facts or theories between those contained in the notice of violation provided to the division and employer pursuant to paragraph (1) and the complaint filed with the court.
(B) If the division fails to inspect or investigate the alleged violation as provided by Section 6309, the provisions of subdivision (c) shall apply to the determination of the alleged violation.
(3) (A) Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to alter the authority of the division to permit long-term abatement periods or to enter into memoranda of understanding or joint agreements with employers in the case of long-term abatement issues.
(B) Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to authorize an employee to file a notice or to commence a civil action pursuant to Section 2699 during the period that an employer has voluntarily entered into consultation with the division to ameliorate a condition in that particular worksite.
(C) An employer who has been provided notice pursuant to this section may not then enter into consultation with the division in order to avoid an action under this section.
(4) The superior court shall review and approve any proposed settlement of alleged violations of the provisions of Division 5 (commencing with Section 6300) to ensure that the settlement provisions are at least as effective as the protections or remedies provided by state and federal law or regulation for the alleged violation. The provisions of the settlement relating to health and safety laws shall be submitted to the division at the same time that they are submitted to the court. This requirement shall be construed to authorize and permit the division to comment on those settlement provisions, and the court shall grant the division’s commentary the appropriate weight.
(c) A civil action by an aggrieved employee pursuant to subdivision (a) or (f) of Section 2699 alleging a violation of any provision other than those listed in Section 2699.5 or Division 5 (commencing with Section 6300) shall commence only after the following requirements have been met:
(1) (A) The aggrieved employee or representative shall give written notice by online filing with the Labor and Workforce Development Agency and by certified mail to the employer of the specific provisions of this code alleged to have been violated, including the facts and theories to support the alleged violation.
(B) A notice filed with the Labor and Workforce Development Agency pursuant to subparagraph (A) and any employer response to that notice shall be accompanied by a filing fee of seventy-five dollars ($75). The fees required by this subparagraph are subject to waiver in accordance with the requirements of Sections 68632 and 68633 of the Government Code.
(C) The fees paid pursuant to subparagraph (B) shall be paid into the Labor and Workforce Development Fund and used for the purposes specified in subdivision (j) of Section 2699.
(2) (A) The employer may cure the alleged violation within 33 65 calendar days of the postmark date of the notice sent by the aggrieved employee or representative. The employer shall give written notice within that period of time by certified mail to the aggrieved employee or representative and by online filing with the agency if the alleged violation is cured, including a description of actions taken, and no civil action pursuant to Section 2699 may commence. If the alleged violation is not cured within the 33-day 65-day period, the employee may commence a civil action pursuant to Section 2699.
(B) (i) Subject to the limitation in clause (ii), no employer may avail himself or herself themselves of the notice and cure provisions of this subdivision more than three times in a 12-month period for the same violation or violations contained in the notice, regardless of the location of the worksite.
(ii) No employer may avail himself or herself themselves of the notice and cure provisions of this subdivision with respect to alleged violations of paragraph (6) or (8) of subdivision (a) of Section 226 more than once in a 12-month period for the same violation or violations contained in the notice, regardless of the location of the worksite.
(3) If the aggrieved employee disputes that the alleged violation has been cured, the aggrieved employee or representative shall provide written notice by online filing with the agency and by certified mail to the employer, including specified grounds to support that dispute, to the employer and the agency. Within 17 calendar days of the receipt of that notice, the agency shall review the actions taken by the employer to cure the alleged violation, and provide written notice of its decision by certified mail to the aggrieved employee and the employer. The agency may grant the employer three additional business days to cure the alleged violation. If the agency determines that the alleged violation has not been cured or if the agency fails to provide timely or any notification, the employee may proceed with the civil action pursuant to Section 2699. If the agency determines that the alleged violation has been cured, but the employee still disagrees, the employee may appeal that determination to the superior court.
(d) The periods specified in this section are not counted as part of the time limited for the commencement of the civil action to recover penalties under this part.
(e) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2021.

SEC. 6.

 Section 2699.5 of the Labor Code is amended to read:

2699.5.
 The provisions of subdivision (a) of Section 2699.3 apply to any alleged violation of the following provisions: subdivision (k) of Section 96, Sections 98.6, 201, 201.3, 201.5, 201.7, 202, 203, 203.1, 203.5, 204, 204a, 204b, 204.1, 204.2, 205, 205.5, 206, 206.5, 208, 209, and 212, subdivision (d) of Section 213, Sections 221, 222, 222.5, 223, and 224, paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, (7), and (9) of subdivision (a) of Section 226, Sections 226.7, 227, 227.3, 230, 230.1, 230.2, 230.3, 230.4, 230.7, 230.8, and 231, subdivision (c) of Section 232, subdivision (c) of Section 232.5, Sections 233, 234, 351, 353, and 403, subdivision (b) of Section 404, Sections 432.2, 432.5, 432.7, 435, 450, 510, 511, 512, 513, 551, 552, 601, 602, 603, 604, 750, 751.8, 800, 850, 851, 851.5, 852, 921, 922, 923, 970, 973, 976, 1021, 1021.5, 1025, 1026, 1101, 1102, 1102.5, and 1153, subdivisions (c) and (d) of Section 1174, Sections 1194, 1197, 1197.1, 1197.5, and 1198, subdivision (b) of Section 1198.3, Sections 1199, 1199.5, 1290, 1292, 1293, 1293.1, 1294, 1294.1, 1294.5, 1296, 1297, 1298, 1301, 1308, 1308.1, 1308.7, 1309, 1309.5, 1391, 1391.1, 1391.2, 1392, 1683, and 1695, subdivision (a) of Section 1695.5, Sections 1695.55, 1695.6, 1695.7, 1695.8, 1695.9, 1696, 1696.5, 1696.6, 1697.1, 1700.25, 1700.26, 1700.31, 1700.32, 1700.40, and 1700.47, Sections 1735, 1771, 1774, 1776, 1777.5, 1811, 1815, 2651, and 2673, subdivision (a) of Section 2673.1, Sections 2695.2, 2800, 2801, 2802, 2806, and 2810, subdivision (b) of Section 2929, and Sections 3073.4, 6310, 6311, and 6399.7.

SECTION 1.Section 90.5 of the Labor Code is amended to read:
90.5.

(a)It is the policy of this state to vigorously enforce minimum labor standards in order to ensure employees are not required or permitted to work under substandard unlawful conditions or for employers that have not secured the payment of compensation, and to protect employers who comply with the law from those who attempt to gain a competitive advantage at the expense of their workers by failing to comply with minimum labor standards.

(b)In order to ensure that minimum labor standards are adequately enforced, the Labor Commissioner shall establish and maintain a field enforcement unit, which shall be administratively and physically separate from offices of the division that accept and determine individual employee complaints. The unit shall have offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego, Sacramento, and any other locations that the Labor Commissioner deems appropriate. The unit shall have primary responsibility for administering and enforcing those statutes and regulations most effectively enforced through field investigations, including Sections 226, 1021, 1021.5, 1193.5, 1193.6, 1194.5, 1197, 1198, 1771, 1776, 1777.5, 2651, 2673, 2675, and 3700, in accordance with the plan adopted by the Labor Commissioner pursuant to subdivision (c). Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the authority of this unit in enforcing any statute or regulation in the course of its investigations.

(c)The Labor Commissioner shall adopt an enforcement plan for the field enforcement unit. The plan shall identify priorities for investigations to be undertaken by the unit to ensure that the available resources will be concentrated in industries, occupations, and areas in which employees are relatively low paid and unskilled, and those in which there has been a history of violations of the statutes cited in subdivision (b), and those with high rates of noncompliance with Section 3700.

(d)The Labor Commissioner shall annually report to the Legislature, not later than March 1, concerning the effectiveness of the field enforcement unit. The report shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:

(1)The enforcement plan adopted by the Labor Commissioner pursuant to subdivision (c), and the rationale for the priorities identified in the plan.

(2)The number of establishments investigated by the unit, and the number of types of violations found.

(3)The amount of wages found to be unlawfully withheld from workers, and the amount of unpaid wages recovered for workers.

(4)The amount of penalties and unpaid wages transferred to the General Fund as a result of the efforts of the unit.