SAN FRANCISCO -- A two-day sweep of 46 San Diego area restaurants, conducted by the Targeted Industries Partnership Program (TIPP), resulted in $243,950 in penalty assessments issued for labor law violations and approximately $67,380 for workplace safety and health violations, John C. Duncan, Director of the California Department of Industrial Relations, has announced.
"In 1996 over one-fourth of the 44,000 claims for unpaid wages processed by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement were filed by employees in the restaurant industry," said Duncan. "With such a high rate of claims it appears that the employees and legitimate businesses in this industry would benefit from targeted enforcement and education which the TIPP program provides."
"The San Diego area sweep was the first of several planned throughout the state," Duncan said. "The efforts are intended to level the playing field for the vast majority of the 47,000 businesses in this industry who are law-abiding, provide workers' compensation insurance, pay employment taxes and provide working conditions that meet Cal/OSHA standards," Duncan added.
The enforcement action was conducted on March 24-25 by DIR's Division of Labor Standards Enforcement and the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, both partners in the Targeted Industries Partnership Program. Forty-six restaurants were investigated for possible violations of state labor laws and occupational safety and health regulations. Citations were issued to 27 of the restaurants for:
Cal/OSHA violations found were not generally serious and primarily addressed inadequate injury and illness programs and electrical violations.
The enforcement action was part of an expansion of the Targeted Industries Partnership Program into the restaurant industry. 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.