(1) The department of labor and industries may:
(a) Upon obtaining information indicating an employer may be committing a violation under chapters 39.12, 49.46, and 49.48 RCW, conduct investigations to ensure compliance with chapters 39.12, 49.46, and 49.48 RCW;
(b) Order the payment of all wages owed the workers and institute actions necessary for the collection of the sums determined owed; and
(c) Take assignments of wage claims and prosecute actions for the collection of wages of persons who are financially unable to employ counsel when in the judgment of the director of the department the claims are valid and enforceable in the courts.
(2) The director of the department or any authorized representative may, for the purpose of carrying out RCW 49.48.040 through 49.48.080: (a) Issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses or parties and the production of books, papers, or records; (b) administer oaths and examine witnesses under oath; (c) take the verification of proof of instruments of writing; and (d) take depositions and affidavits. If assignments for wage claims are taken, court costs shall not be payable by the department for prosecuting such suits.
(3) The director shall have a seal inscribed "Department of Labor and Industries--State of Washington" and all courts shall take judicial notice of such seal. Obedience to subpoenas issued by the director or authorized representative shall be enforced by the courts in any county.
(4) The director or authorized representative shall have free access to all places and works of labor. Any employer or any agent or employee of such employer who refuses the director or authorized representative admission therein, or who, when requested by the director or authorized representative, wilfully neglects or refuses to furnish the director or authorized representative any statistics or information pertaining to his or her lawful duties, which statistics or information may be in his or her possession or under the control of the employer or agent, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
[1987 c 172 § 1; 1935 c 96 § 1; RRS § 7596-1.]