IFWJD - Workplace Justice

The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office is committed to creating a fair and equitable workplace through enforcing and protecting workers’ rights. This includes prosecuting criminal wage theft cases and stopping labor trafficking. The Workplace Justice Unit prosecutes unfair business practices, wage and hour violations, payroll tax evasion, wage theft and labor trafficking cases.

The District Attorney’s Office has long prosecuted wage theft cases through its Insurance Fraud and Workplace Justice Division, but only if an accompanying workers' compensation fraud charge is included or investigated. Now, victims of workplace crimes can contact the District Attorney’s Office through this page or call the workplace justice hotline at 1-866-402-6044 to make a report whether or not workers’ compensation violations are involved.

Make a submission to the Insurance Fraud and Workplace Justice Unit

  1. Click here to start the process.
  2. Then simply follow the screen-by-screen instructions, filling out the form as completely as possible.
  3. Once you complete a submission, you will be given a tracking number for your records. With that number, you will be able to follow-up at any time to see what action has been taken by the Task Force. The Task Force can be contacted directly at workplacejustice@sdcda.org or 1-866-402-6044.

Many forms of workplace injustice are civil in nature and do not amount to criminal conduct. These offenses may include sexual harassment, discrimination, or retaliation, which are many times may have a remedy in civil court, but not criminal court. However, wage theft and labor trafficking are criminal in nature and may warrant criminal prosecution.

These cases fall into a continuum of severity including infractions, such as failure to provide an itemized wage statement and misdemeanor wage violations, to felony wage theft and labor trafficking.

Labor trafficking is defined as a form of modern-day slavery in which individuals are made to perform labor or services using force, fraud, or coercion. Labor trafficking includes situations of debt bondage, forced labor, and involuntary child labor. Labor traffickers use violence, threats, lies, and other forms of coercion to force people to work and stay against their will in many industries including confiscating legal documents, or being forced to pay a debt.

Wage theft is the denial of wages or employee benefits rightfully owed to an employee. Examples of wage theft include paying less than minimum wage, not paying workers overtime, not allowing workers to take meal and rest breaks, requiring off the clock work, or taking workers’ tips. Wage theft occurs when employers do not pay workers according to the law.

Employer theft occurs in various ways, including misclassification of employees as independent contractors, illegal deductions in pay, not paying annual leave or holiday entitlements, or simply withholding pay.

The Insurance Fraud and Workplace Justice Unit will review the following types of claims:”

  • Wage Claims for unpaid wages and other labor law violations
  • Minimum wage and overtime violations
  • Meal and rest break violations
  • Workers' Compensation violations
  • Violations of prevailing wage provisions
  • Child Labor violations
  • Retaliation complaints for enforcing labor rights
  • Underground Economy Tax Evasion

Common Industries for labor violations include:

  • Agriculture
  • Restaurant
  • Janitorial
  • Warehouse
  • Hotel/Domestic Work
  • Garment
  • Car Wash
  • Construction
  • Residential Care Facilities
  • Massage Parlors

Additional Resources:

California Department of Industrial Relations:
California Department of Industrial Relations - Home Page

Maintenance Cooperation Trust Fund (MCTF):
Home - The Maintenance Cooperation Trust Fund (janitorialwatch.org)

Employee Rights Center:
Employee Rights Center – Justice for the Job – Service in the Community (weberc.net)

Legal Aid Society of San Diego::
Legal Aid Society of San Diego (lassd.org)

California Contractors State Licensing Board:
CSLB-Home -CSLB (ca.gov)

California Employment Development Department:
Employment Development Department | California