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Newsom Revives the California Industrial Welfare Commission After Almost 20 Years

Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 102 into law on July 10, 2023, providing $3,000,000 in funding to revive the Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC). This agency, established in 1913 to regulate working conditions, had been defunded since 2004. AB 102 authorizes the IWC to convene industry-specific wage boards and update its 18 wage orders, which have not been revised since 2001. Click here for article.

  • IWC Revival: AB 102 allocates funding to the IWC, reviving it as a regulatory body responsible for regulating wages, hours, and working conditions in California workplaces. This is the first time in nearly 20 years that the IWC has received state funding.

  • Wage Orders: The IWC previously issued 18 industry-specific wage orders that set forth requirements for California employers. These orders, though unchanged since 2001, remain in effect. AB 102 allows the IWC to convene wage boards and adopt new or revised wage orders by October 31, 2024.

  • Expectations for Change: Employers should anticipate pro-employee changes in 2024, as the law mandates that new orders "shall not include any standards that are less protective than existing state law." This may lead to more restrictions for California employers. Additionally, there may be increases to the state minimum wage, either statewide or in specific industries.

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