7350 Department of Industrial Relations
Program Descriptions


This program regulates workers' compensation self-insurance plans by verifying that each self-insured employer and group of employers that is issued a Certificate of Consent to Self-Insure meets the statutory requirements for self-insuring, and is actually able to provide workers' compensation benefits to employees. The program also ensures that each self-insured private-sector employer posts a security deposit adequate to pay all workers' compensation benefits in the event that the employer defaults on its obligations.


The Division of Workers' Compensation monitors the administration of workers' compensation claims, attempts to minimize disputes through outreach to employers and injured workers by providing program information and assistance, and provides administrative and judicial services to resolve disputes that arise in connection with claims for workers' compensation benefits. The Division conducts audits of workers' compensation claims administrators to ensure compliance with the benefit delivery system required by the Labor Code, and authorizes payment of workers' compensation benefits to injured workers from the Uninsured Employers Benefit Trust Fund and the Subsequent Injuries Benefit Trust Fund. The Division promotes the practice of early and sustained return to work of injured employees. The Division also administers a workers' compensation information system designed to provide information to policymakers regarding the effectiveness and efficiency of the benefit delivery system.

The Workers' Compensation Appeals Board reviews petitions for reconsideration of decisions issued by the workers' compensation judges in the Division, participates in appellate court proceedings as necessary or when requested by the court, and regulates the workers' compensation adjudication process.


The Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation is responsible for: (1) issuing an annual report on the state of the workers' compensation system, including recommendations for administrative or legislative modifications which would improve the operation of the system; (2) conducting specified surveys and evaluations required by law; (3) conducting continuing examination of the workers' compensation system and the state's activities to prevent industrial injuries and occupational diseases, including making recommendations on how to improve the workers' compensation and health and safety program, and if it deems appropriate, conducting or contracting for studies necessary to carry out its responsibilities; (4) maintaining the occupational safety and health training and education program and funding an insurance loss control services coordinator; and (5) issuing, if necessary, a report and recommendations on the improvement and simplification of the notices required to be provided by insurers and self-insured employers.


The objectives of this program include the promotion and enforcement of measures to protect the health and safety of workers on the job and the safe operation of elevators, amusement rides, aerial passenger tramways, and pressure vessels for the benefit of the general public. These objectives are accomplished by the coordinated efforts of the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Standards Board), and the Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board (Cal/OSHA Appeals Board).

DOSH enforces occupational safety and health standards, investigates the causes of occupational deaths and injuries, and helps employers to maintain safe and healthful working conditions. DOSH conducts inspections of, and issues permits to operate, elevators and other conveyances, amusement rides, aerial passenger tramways, and pressure vessels. The inspection and permitting process is the primary method used to enforce standards governing the safe operation of these devices. Under the administrative direction of the Office of the Director, DOSH also obtains and maintains job safety records, reports, and statistics; measures the effectiveness of accident and illness prevention efforts in the workplace; and provides accurate information pertaining to industrial relations to help inform legislative and administrative decisions made by state and local government.

The Standards Board is an independent body consisting of seven members appointed by the Governor and is composed as follows: one member from the general public, two members from the field of management, two members from the field of labor, one member from the field of occupational health, and one member from the field of occupational safety. It is the sole agency in the state empowered to adopt, amend, or repeal the occupational safety and health standards and public safety standards enforced by DOSH.

The Cal/OSHA Appeals Board is an independent judicial body empowered by state law to resolve employer appeals of citations and accompanying monetary civil penalties issued by DOSH for violations of occupational safety and health standards. It is comprised of three members appointed by the Governor, consisting of one member from the general public, one member from the field of management, and one member from the field of labor.


The objectives of this program include: (1) interpretation and enforcement of sections of the Labor Code which relate to wages, hours of work, and conditions of employment, including anti-retaliation laws addressing employees engaged in protected activities, as well as implementing Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders (as applicable); (2) determination and collection of unpaid wages; 3) the licensing of farm labor contractors, industrial homework firms, and talent agencies; the certification of studio teachers; the registration of garment manufacturers, car washing and polishing businesses, and entities and individuals using minors in door-to-door sales; and permitting for both the employment of minors in the entertainment industry and the individuals representing or providing services to minors in the entertainment industry; (4) field enforcement of laws governing public works, workers' compensation insurance, child labor, unlicensed contractors, rules governing meals and rest periods, the payment of overtime and minimum wage, the licensing of specific industries, and the payment of wages without required deductions; (5) under the administrative direction of the Director's Office, vigorous and targeted enforcement in partnership with state and federal agencies against unscrupulous businesses participating in the "underground economy" and administration of the prevailing wage program, to determine and publish prevailing wage rates for public works projects; (6) enforcement of apprenticeship related requirements relative to public works projects; and (7) management of the Electrician Certification Program that tests for the minimum standards for competency and training for electricians in California.


The objectives of this program are to promote, develop, and expand on-the-job training and apprenticeship programs and to provide consultation services to program sponsors. The Division's goal is to match the needs of workers with those of employers, and to strengthen the apprenticeship alliance among industry, labor, education and government for recruiting workers and teaching the skills they and their employers need.

The Division administers the apprenticeship system in California. This includes initial program approval and subsequent oversight activity such as annual reviews and audits as required by the Labor Code to ensure that apprenticeship programs and employers are in compliance with approved standards and labor laws.

The California Apprenticeship Council issues regulations to carry out the intent of the state apprenticeship law and sets the general policy under which this program operates.


The objectives of this program are to pay claims, wages, or contingency benefits, and to provide for payment of workers' compensation benefits to employees whose illegally uninsured employers have failed to make the benefit payments required under the Labor Code.

The Labor Code establishes special accounts in which the Labor Commissioner deposits a portion of each Farm Labor Contractor's, Garment Manufacturer's, and Car Wash Operator's annual license fee. Funds from these accounts are to be disbursed for any wages to employees which exceed the limits of a licensee's bond or time certificate.