IR #98-21
Friday, June 12, 1998

Rick Rice
Dean Fryer
(415) 972-8835

TIPP Investigates Brawley/Indio Area Farms

SAN FRANCISCO -- John C. Duncan, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations, has announced the results of an early morning farm labor vehicle and field agriculture inspection in the Brawley/Indio area. This inspection is part of ongoing enforcement activities targeting employee pay and safety issues in the agricultural industry by the Targeted Industries Partnership Program (TIPP).

"Day haulers who transport agricultural employees to their work locations must be licensed as either a day hauler or a farm labor contractor," said Duncan. "The safe transport of agricultural employees is an issue that TIPP will continue to address."

The California Highway Patrol, Imperial County Sheriff's Department, and Cal-Trans teamed up with TIPP to conduct the farm labor vehicle inspections. The inspections resulted in 20 criminal citations issued to the van drivers for illegally transporting agricultural employees without being properly registered as day haulers or farm labor contractors. Additionally, seven of the vans were removed from service for various safety infractions and the California Highway Patrol issued 20 infractions for violations of the Vehicle Code.

Following the vehicle inspections, enforcement teams entered the fields to check for violations of the state and federal wage and hour and licensing laws, field sanitation requirements, child labor laws, and workers' compensation insurance coverage. The inspection teams included investigators from the Department of Industrial Relations' Divisions of Labor Standards Enforcement and Occupational Safety and Health, as well as the U.S. Department of Labor.

Out of ten field inspections conducted, the following violations were found: 8 notices to discontinue;

TIPP was originally created, five years ago, to deter violations in the garment and agriculture industries. TIPP targets the most likely violators of labor, tax and workplace safety and health laws by partnering and sharing information with various state, federal and local agencies. The unit provides education to businesses in targeted industries and provides enforcement of laws against those businesses which fail to pay the minimum wage, fail to pay overtime, lack workers' compensation coverage, have child labor violations, pay wages in cash, fail to meet health and safety standards and have other violations that would go largely undetected without on-site investigations.

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