Nicole Rice

Department of Industrial Relations head unexpectedly retires after 34 years of service

By Nicole Rice, Policy Director, Government Relations

Capitol Update, April 13, 2018

At the end of March, Christine Baker, the first female director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), announced her retirement. For many, this news came as a surprise. In an email to DIR employees, Baker did not specify a reason for her departure, but she did note how proud she is of the work that was accomplished during her tenure, including overhauling worker safety regulations at refineries, instituting heat-illness prevention in outdoor workplaces, and reforming the workers’ compensation system. Governor Jerry Brown appointed Baker to head DIR in December 2011, she first joined the department in February 1985. During this time, she gained the respect of labor and business groups alike. Labor and Workforce Development Agency Undersecretary André Schoorl has been named as acting director.

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