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(a) Implementation. The Agency shall be authorized to coordinate implementation and enforcement of this Article 33H and may promulgate appropriate guidelines or rules for such purposes. Any guidelines or rules promulgated by the Agency shall have the force and effect of law and may be relied on by employers, employees, and other persons to determine their rights and responsibilities under this Article. Any guidelines or rules may establish procedures for ensuring fair, efficient, and cost-effective implementation of this Article, including supplementary procedures for helping to inform employees of their rights under this Article, for monitoring employer compliance with this Article, and for providing administrative hearings to determine whether an employer or other person has violated the requirements of this Article.
(b) Administrative Enforcement.
(1) The Agency is authorized to take appropriate steps to enforce this Article 33H. The Agency may investigate any possible violations of this Article by an employer or other person. Where the Agency has reason to believe that a violation has occurred, it may order any appropriate temporary or interim relief to mitigate the violation or maintain the status quo pending completion of a full investigation or hearing.
(2) Where the Agency, after a hearing that affords a suspected violator due process, determines that a violation has occurred, it may order any appropriate relief including, but not limited to, the payment of any Supplemental Compensation unlawfully withheld, and the payment of an additional sum as an administrative penalty to each employee or person whose rights under this Article 33H were violated. If any Supplemental Compensation was unlawfully withheld, the dollar amount of Supplemental Compensation withheld from the employee multiplied by three, or $250.00, whichever amount is greater, shall be included in the administrative penalty paid to the employee. In addition, if a violation of this Article resulted in other harm to the employee or any other person, or otherwise violated the rights of employees or other persons, such as a failure to post the notice required by Section 3300H.5, or an act of retaliation prohibited by Section 3300H.7, this administrative penalty shall also include $50.00 to each employee or person whose rights under this Article were violated for each day or portion thereof that the violation occurred or continued.
(3) Where prompt compliance is not forthcoming, the Agency may take any appropriate enforcement action to secure compliance, including initiating a civil action, except where prohibited by State or Federal law, requesting that City agencies or departments revoke or suspend any registration certificates, permits, or licenses held or requested by the employer or person until such time as the violation is remedied. In order to compensate the City for the costs of investigating and remedying the violation, the Agency may also order the violating employer or person to pay to the City a sum of not more than $50.00 for each day or portion thereof and for each employee or person as to whom the violation occurred or continued. Such funds shall be allocated to the Agency and used to offset the costs of implementing and enforcing this Article 33H.
(4) An employee or other person may report to the Agency any suspected violation of this Article 33H. The Agency shall encourage reporting pursuant to this subsection (b)(4) by keeping confidential, to the maximum extent permitted by applicable laws, the name and other identifying information of the employee or person reporting the violation. Provided, however, that with the authorization of such person, the Agency may disclose his or her name and identifying information as necessary to enforce this Article or for other appropriate purposes.
(5) The Agency shall not proceed with administrative enforcement under this subsection 3300H.8(b) during the pendency of a civil action brought under subsection 3300H.8(c).
(c) Civil Enforcement.
(1) The City, or any person or entity acting on behalf of the public as provided for under applicable State law, may bring a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction against the employer or other person violating this Article at any time.
(2) No person aggrieved by a violation of this Article 33H, or any entity a member of which is aggrieved by a violation of this Article, may bring a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction against a Covered Employer or other person violating this Article without first serving a written notice to the Agency and the City Attorney of intent to bring an action, including a statement of the grounds for believing one or more violations have occurred. No aggrieved person or entity may bring a civil action under this subsection 3300H.8(c)(2) if, within 90 days after service of the notice, the City brings a civil action alleging a violation or the Agency informs the person or entity in writing that (A) it has found probable cause to believe a violation has occurred and it intends to initiate administrative enforcement under subsection 3300H.8(b), or (B) it has determined that no violation occurred. If the City fails to file suit and the Agency fails to provide written notice within the aforementioned 90-day period, the person or entity may bring a civil action for violation of this Article. The statute of limitations for filing a civil action under this subsection 3300H.8(c)(2) shall be tolled during the aforementioned 90-day period.
(3) Upon prevailing, any party that has brought a civil action under this subsection 3300H.8(c) shall be entitled to such legal or equitable relief as may be appropriate to remedy the violation including, but not limited to, reinstatement, back pay, the payment of any Supplemental Compensation unlawfully withheld, the payment of an additional sum as liquidated damages in the amount of $50.00 to each employee or person whose rights under this Article were violated for each day or portion thereof that the violation occurred or continued, plus, where the Covered Employer has unlawfully withheld Supplemental Compensation to a Covered Employee, the dollar amount of Supplemental Compensation withheld from the employee multiplied by three; or $250.00, whichever amount is greater; and/or injunctive relief; and, further, shall be awarded reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs. Provided, however, that any person or entity enforcing this Article on behalf of the public as provided for under applicable State law shall, upon prevailing, be entitled only to equitable, injunctive or restitutionary relief, and reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.
(d) Interest. In any administrative or civil action brought under this Article 33H , the Agency or court, as the case may be, shall award interest on all amounts due and unpaid at the rate of interest specified in subdivision (b) of Section 3289 of the California Civil Code.
(e) Remedies Cumulative. The remedies, penalties, and procedures provided under this Article 33H are cumulative.
(Added by Ord. 54-16, File No. 160065, App. 4/21/2016, Eff. 5/21/2016, Oper. 1/1/2017)