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5.22.2013

Kicking ass on behalf of California's workers

Check out this awesome recent Los Angeles Times profile on California Labor Commissioner Julie Su, who fights to ensure that workers get "a just day's pay for a hard day's work": Her job: Stopping wage theft.

In her two years as California's top labor law enforcer, Su has filed criminal charges and civil lawsuits and issued citations that identified more than $185 million in unpaid wages and other compensation legally due workers.

Basically, she kicks ass on behalf of the everyday working person:

Her first notable case as labor commissioner came in October and November 2011 when surveillance of Inland Empire distribution warehouses and off-site worker interviews resulted in a $1-million fine for payroll irregularities against a national logistics and trucking company.

During 2012, Su's team recovered more than $900,000 from San Francisco restaurateurs for unpaid minimum wages and overtime and for failure to provide itemized wage statements. In November 2012, the agency cited a public works contractor for failing to pay proper prevailing wages or overtime and falsifying payroll records to shave the number of hours actually clocked by workers.

This year, the pace has increased. Her office won a first victory in February when a Superior Court judge ruled that certain Southern California port drivers were misclassified as independent contractors when they were employees. The next month, she cited top restaurants, including Beverly Hills sushi bar Urasawa, for more than $500,000 in overtime violations. Also in March, she hit the Pacific Health Corp. hospital chain in Orange and Los Angeles counties with more than $7 million in wage-law violations.
I've said it before, but it bears repeating: Julie Su kicks ass. I dare you to violate labor laws on her watch.