Underground Economy

Project with the state Labor Enforcement Task Force (LETF)

LOHP works with the state’s Labor Enforcement Task Force (LETF) to implement an outreach and education project targeting workers and employers in the underground economy. LETF, which is under the direction of the California Department of Industrial Relations, is a coalition of California state government agencies that work together and with local agencies to combat workplace violations rampant in the underground economy.

LOHP assisted LETF in the development of a worker’s rights booklet, “All Workers Have Rights in California,” which is geared towards low-wage and immigrant workers. The booklet, which has been translated into Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese, describes the rights in California workers are entitled to, including minimum wage, rest and meal breaks, safe and healthy jobs, and workers’ compensation. Recognizing that workers take great risks exercising any of those rights, LOHP has included a section on the right of workers to take action, including practical tips to minimize the risk that employers will retaliate against workers who speak up. The booklet emphasizes the rights of undocumented workers and reinforces the message that all workers have rights, no matter where they were born or what their legal status is.

LOHP is working to disseminate the booklet statewide and to provide training and assistance to community-based organizations that will distribute these materials to workers and put them to use in the most effective ways.

LOHP is also developing employer factsheets for LETF’s five targeted industries: restaurants, construction, agriculture, garment, and automotive. These factsheets inform employers about labor laws and common violations in each industry, and emphasize both the benefits of compliance as well as the consequences of non-compliance.

http://www.dir.ca.gov/letf/

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Contact:
Suzanne Teran
steran@berkeley.edu

Helen Chen
helenchen@berkeley.edu

Alejandra Domenzain
alejandra.domenzain@berkeley.edu