Jerry Brown on Corporate Accountability


Brown cracks down on bad employers that exploit workers and violate workplace protection laws.

  • As Attorney General, Brown secured $4.13 million in lost wages, benefits and penalties from a drywall contractor who “cruelly and illegally” violated the rights of its workers by prohibiting rest breaks, denying overtime pay and forcing work without safety equipment. (People v. Charles Evleth Construction, 2010)
  • He also won $1.4 million in restitution for employees from one of California’s largest drywall contractors, for cheating hundreds of its employees out of millions in overtime pay and benefits. (People v. Interwall Development Systems, 2008)
  • In an ongoing crackdown on worker abuses at California’s two busiest ports, Attorney General Brown sued three trucking companies operating at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles that denied their workers benefits and protections entitled to them under state laws. (People v. Guasimal, People v. Lira, People v. Moreno, 2008)
  • Brown also sued a southern California corporation that trained construction companies to violate workers’ compensation laws. (People v. PacifiStaff Inc., 2007)


Brown sued to stop Wall Street abuse and other fraudulent business practices that lead to lost jobs and lost savings.

  • He secured an $8.6 billion nationwide settlement against Countrywide Financial, the poster child for fraudulent and misleading sub-prime mortgage lending that played a central role in the current financial crisis. (People v. Countrywide Financial, 2008)
  • Brown also won a major settlement from Wells Fargo, returning $1.5 billion to investors whose “auction rate preferred” funds had been frozen. (People v. Wells Fargo, 2009)
  • He is currently investigating the three largest credit rating agencies for fueling the financial crisis by giving gold-standard ratings to securities backed by toxic mortgages.


Brown instituted several laws to make sure bad employers don’t get good business.

  • As Governor, Brown improved enforcement efforts by requiring the Labor Commissioner to notify the Contractor’s State License Board whenever a contractor was found to have violated the Labor Code. (AB 3363, 1978)
  • He required state contractors to certify they had never had an anti-worker NLRB decision levied against them. (AB 1586, 1981)
  • He provided protection under the State Labor Commissioner’s office for workers who were discharged or discriminated against for filing a complaint against their employer. (AB 2945, 1978)

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