California S.B. 1342 is a new law which allows cities and counties to work with the California Division of Labor Standards enforcement (“DLSE”) to enforce wage payment laws. The new measure was intended to give local enforcement programs the tools required to conduct wage claim investigations in order to recover unpaid wages including the ability to issue subpoenas. The law encourages cities and counties to develop specific measures to target and remedy wage theft. Many cities have already adopted city minimum wage and paid sick leave laws and the list is growing.

Specifically, the law will add Section 53060.4 to the Government Code. Government Code Section 53060.4 will read:

(a) The legislative body of a city or county may delegate to a county or city official or department head its authority to issue subpoenas and to report noncompliance thereof to the judge of the superior court of the county, in order to enforce any local law or ordinance, including, but not limited to, local wage laws.

(b) The Legislature finds and declares that these provisions do not constitute a change in, but are declaratory of, existing law.

The California law states the law does not constitute a change in the law but clarifies existing law. It is another reminder for employers to review whether the new local city minimum wage or paid sick leave laws cover any of their facilities.