Code Section

Unemployment Insurance Code - UIC

DIVISION 1. UNEMPLOYMENT AND DISABILITY COMPENSATION [100 - 4751]

  ( Division 1 enacted by Stats. 1953, Ch. 308. )
  

PART 1. UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION [100 - 2129]

  ( Part 1 enacted by Stats. 1953, Ch. 308. )
  

CHAPTER 2. Administration [301 - 456]

  ( Chapter 2 enacted by Stats. 1953, Ch. 308. )
  

ARTICLE 1. Employment Development Department [301 - 337]
  ( Heading of Article 1 amended by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1252. )

  
329.  

(a) The director, or the director’s designee, shall serve as Chairperson of the Joint Enforcement Strike Force on the Underground Economy provided for in Executive Order W-66-93. The strike force shall include, but not be limited to, representatives of the Employment Development Department, the Department of Justice, the Department of Consumer Affairs, the Department of Industrial Relations, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, the Franchise Tax Board, and the Department of Insurance.

(b) The strike force may invite the following state agencies to serve in an advisory capacity: the California Health and Human Services Agency, the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, and the Department of the California Highway Patrol.

(c) The strike force shall have the following duties:

(1) (A) To facilitate and encourage the development and sharing of information by the participating agencies necessary to combat the underground economy including the enforcement activities regarding labor, tax, insurance, and licensing law violators operating in the underground economy. Duly authorized representatives of the strike force employed by an agency listed in subdivision (a) shall exchange intelligence, data, documents, confidential information, or lead referrals pursuant to this section, to the extent permitted by state and federal laws and regulations.

(B) Any person who is involved or has been involved in the strike force pursuant to this section and at any time has obtained confidential information shall not divulge, or make known in any manner not allowed by law, any of the confidential information received by or reported to members of the strike force. Confidential information authorized to be exchanged pursuant to this section shall retain its confidential status and shall otherwise remain subject to the confidentiality provisions contained in applicable federal and state laws.

(C) Participating agencies may also cooperate and share any appropriate information with the Labor Enforcement Task Force established pursuant to Assembly Bill 1464 of the 2011–12 Regular Session (Chapter 21 of the Statutes of 2012), to the extent related to the underground economy including the enforcement activities regarding labor, tax, insurance, and licensing law violators operating in the underground economy permitted by state and federal laws and regulations. Members of the Labor Enforcement Task Force who have obtained confidential information pursuant to this section shall not divulge, or make known in any manner not allowed by law, any of the confidential information received from the strike force.

(2) To improve the coordination of activities among the participating agencies.

(3) To develop methods to pool, focus, and target the enforcement resources of the participating agencies in order to deter tax evasion and maximize recoveries from blatant tax evaders and violators of cash-pay reporting laws.

(4) To reduce enforcement costs wherever possible by eliminating duplicative audits and investigations.

(d) In addition, the strike force shall be empowered to:

(1) Form joint enforcement teams when appropriate to utilize the collective investigative and enforcement capabilities of the participating members.

(2) Establish committees and rules of procedure to carry out the activities of the strike force.

(3) To solicit the cooperation and participation of district attorneys and other state and local agencies in carrying out the objectives of the strike force.

(4) Establish procedures for soliciting referrals from the public, including, but not limited to, an advertised telephone hotline.

(5) Develop procedures for improved information sharing among the participating agencies and the Labor Enforcement Task Force, such as shared automated information database systems, the use of a common business identification number, and a centralized debt collection system, to the extent permitted by state and federal laws and regulations.

(6) Develop procedures to permit the participating agencies to use civil sanctions.

(7) Provide participating agencies, including the Department of Justice, with investigative leads where collaboration opportunities exist for felony-level criminal investigations, including, but not limited to, referring leads to agencies with appropriate enforcement jurisdiction, and to pursue criminal prosecution when unscrupulous businesses violate the state’s labor, employment, licensing, insurance, and tax laws with respect to the underground economy.

(8) Evaluate, based on its activities, the need for any statutory change to do any of the following:

(A) Eliminate barriers to interagency information sharing.

(B) Improve the ability of the participating agencies to audit, investigate, and prosecute tax and cash-pay violations.

(C) Deter violations and improve voluntary compliance.

(D) Eliminate duplication and improve cooperation among the participating agencies.

(E) Establish shareable information databases.

(F) Establish a common business identification number for use by participating agencies.

(G) Establish centralized, automated debt collection services for the participating agencies.

(e) The strike force shall report to the Governor and the Legislature annually during the period of its existence, by June 30, of each year, regarding its activities.

The report shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:

(1) The number of cases of blatant violations and noncompliance with tax and cash-pay laws identified, audited, investigated, or prosecuted through civil action or referred for criminal prosecution.

(2) Actions taken by the strike force to publicize its activities.

(3) Efforts made by the strike force to establish an advertised telephone hotline for receiving referrals from the public.

(4) Procedures for improving information sharing among the agencies represented on the strike force.

(5) Steps taken by the strike force to improve cooperation among participating agencies, reduce duplication of effort, and improve voluntary compliance.

(6) Recommendations for any statutory changes needed to accomplish the goals described in paragraph (8) of subdivision (c).

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 626, Sec. 2. (AB 1296) Effective January 1, 2020.)