Daniel Yu is the California Labor Commissioner assistant chief who oversees the field enforcement and judgment enforcement units. Before joining the panel at a Zócalo event in Sacramento called “What Is a Good Job Now for Fairness in the Workplace?”—presented in partnership with The James Irvine Foundation—he talked in the green room about his childhood hero, weird pizza, and the trouble with ambiguity.
What was the first job you ever had?
The first W-2 job I ever had was with the State of California. Before that, I had a Bridge Fellowship to work with a legal aid center.
How do you take your coffee?
I actually drink Diet Coke instead.
Favorite ice cream flavor?
If you end up having the choice, what would be your last meal?
I really like a weird pizza, with rigatoni on it. Double the carbs. It was my comfort food when I was going to school.
Who was your childhood hero?
I’m from the Bay Area, so Barry Bonds… I’m a Giants fan, though I wish the A’s were staying.
On a Sunday afternoon, where would we be most likely to find you?
Most likely taking a nap.
Do you have a hobby?
I like music. When they were around, my favorite group was Linkin Park.
What was the last book you read?
I was reading a book that had a chronology of famous Romans and their noble achievements.
What is your staff’s most common complaint about you?
Probably my ambiguous instructions. I like folks to be creative and think about different ways to achieve their goals… Some folks would like a more structured environment.