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The 2020-21 Budget: Improving the State's Unpaid Wage Claim Process


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The 2017-18 Budget: Increased Staffing for Labor Standards Enforcement

March 3, 2017 - The Governor’s budget proposes $11 million in special funds and 82.5 positions, phased in over three years, for the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement to pursue additional investigations of labor standards violations. In this analysis, we provide our assessment of the Governor’s proposal and raise several concerns that we believe should be addressed before any funding and staffing are approved.

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The 2020-21 Spending Plan: Labor and Employment Issues

October 5, 2020 - The 2020-21 Budget Act includes several new initiatives and policy changes related to labor and employment programs. This post provides a high-level overview of the state’s major labor and employment programs and highlights the major labor issues in the budget package, including provisions related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

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The 2019-20 Budget: California Spending Plan—Other Provisions

October 17, 2019 - The 2019-20 budget included significant augmentations and statutory changes in various other programs, including to support emergency services, the regulation of cannabis and alcoholic beverages, and construction and maintenance of state infrastructure.

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The 2016-17 Budget: Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act Resources

March 25, 2016 - This post addresses the Governor’s 2016-17 budget proposal related to the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). The post provides background on PAGA, describes and assesses the Governor’s proposal, and outlines our recommendations for the Legislature’s consideration. Specifically, we recommend that the Legislature approve requested funding and positions and adopt portions of proposed trailer bill language that require additional information on PAGA proceedings be provided to the Labor and Workforce Development Agency. We recommend that the Legislature reject remaining proposed trailer bill language in favor of consideration in a separate policy bill process.

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[PDF] Analysis of the 1995-96 Budget Bill, Business and Labor Chapter

February 22, 1995 - Analysis of the 1995-96 Budget Bill, Business and Labor Chapter

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The 2020-21 Budget: Staffing to Address New Independent Contractor Test

February 11, 2020 - The 2020‑21 Governor’s budget includes two labor proposals related to Chapter 296 of 2019 (AB 5, Gonzalez), a new law that limits what types of work businesses can hire independent contractors to do. In this post, we provide a background on the new law, discuss how many workers it might affect, and make recommendations about the workload proposals at the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and the Employment Development Department (EDD).

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Improving California’s Unemployment Insurance Program

August 8, 2022 - California's Unemployment Insurance (UI) program provides wage replacement to unemployed workers. The program has faltered during recent downturns, causing hardship for workers and their families, holding back the state's economic recovery, and spurring frustration among Californians with their government. Recent failures trace back to the UI program's basic design, which results in more emphasis being placed on limiting fraud and business costs than making sure eligible workers get benefits quickly and easily. Although this emphasis is not new, the pandemic has highlighted the need to rebalance the UI program. We recommend about a dozen targeted changes to state practices to place a greater priority on getting payments to eligible unemployed workers.

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[PDF] Considering Options to Expand Paid Family Leave in California

March 7, 2019 - California's current paid family leave program, implemented in 2004, provides up to six weeks of partial wage replacement to workers who take time off to bond with a new child or care for an ill family member. In the 2019-20 Governor's Budget, the Governor included a conceptual proposal to expand paid family leave and make the program more flexible. In this handout, we describe the major features of the state's current paid family leave program and compare it to programs in other states and countries. We then outline potential options to expand paid family leave. Finally, we provide a preliminary assessment of the potential effects of such expansions.

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Workers' Compensation: Recent Decisions Likely to Increase Benefits and Employer Costs

October 16, 2009 - Recent decisions by the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) concluded that the current system used to measure permanent disability (PD) in workers' compensation claims can be challenged. This analysis discusses how the WCAB’s decisions could lead to (1) changes in PD ratings, (2) increased incentive for litigation, and (3) decreased uniformity in determining PD. Ultimately, the likely result would be increased benefits for workers and higher costs for businesses and governments.

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Department of Real Estate: Opportunities to Improve Consumer Protection

May 12, 2009 - In this report, we identify a number of deficiencies in the Department of Real Estate’s Licensing and Education Program and their Enforcement and Recovery Program. Our recommendations would tighten existing educational requirements, increase licensee accountability for violations of the real estate law, improve department accountability for program outcomes, and expand consumer access to—as well as oversight of—the Recovery Account. (Short video summary.)