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The California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and the Labor Commissioner’s Office have launched an $18 million Workers’ Rights Enforcement Grant Program creating opportunities for local prosecutors to obtain funding for wage theft prosecutions. In 2024-2025 (Year 1) and 2025-2026 (Year 2), there will be two annual grant award cycles amounting to a total of $8,550,000 each.

The funding for this program was provided in Assembly Bill No. 102 amendment to the Budget Act of 2023

The Workers’ Rights Enforcement Grant is a new funding source to protect workers from wage theft and other exploitative practices in the workplace. Grants will be competitively awarded to California “public prosecutors” to develop and implement a wage theft enforcement program. A “public prosecutor” is a district attorney, city attorney, county council or any other city or county prosecutor who has established a workers’ rights enforcement program.

This funding will enhance the capacity of public prosecutors to take action against wage theft – ensuring that labor laws are enforced, violators are prosecuted, and employers are deterred from engaging in practices such as unpaid overtime and minimum wage violations. This investment sends a strong message to employers about the State of California’s commitment to ensuring every Californian is fairly compensated for their labor.

Grant funds can only be used for staff salaries and benefits. No other items will be funded, other than the noted annual audit costs. The year 1 Grant Application Timeframe is August 1, 2024 to July 31, 2025, and the year 2 Grant Application Timeframe is August 1, 2025 to July 31, 2026.

Application, Eligibility, and Funding Essential Details

– – Grant Uses: Staff Salaries/Benefits and Annual Audit Costs
– – $750,000: Maximum per applicant per year
– – Eligible Recipients: Public Prosecutors

Register Today: Wage Theft Grant Informational Webinar scheduled for February 22, 2024 @ 11 am PST