FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IR #2005-40
September 20, 2005
Internet: http://www.dir.ca.gov

CONTACT:
Renee Bacchini or Dean Fryer, Dept. of Industrial Relations (415) 703-5279
Loree Levy, Employment Development Dept. (916) 654-9029


Economic and Employment Enforcement Coalition
announces results of recent restaurant enforcement sweeps

San Francisco - The Economic and Employment Enforcement Coalition (EEEC) today announces the results of a statewide enforcement sweep in the restaurant industry. The coalition members participating in the two-day sweep September 14 and 15 included the Labor and Workforce Development Agency's (LWDA) Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) and Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA), both of which are under the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), along with the Employment Development Department (EDD).

Launched in July '05 with the full support of the governor, the EEEC was formed to enforce California labor laws and educate business owners of their responsibilities, while informing employees of their rights. The EEEC aims to root out businesses participating in the underground economy, which limit the competitive advantage among legitimate businesses and cost the state millions each year.

"The restaurant industry attracts many non-English speaking workers who can be vulnerable to exploitation," said Jose Millan, deputy secretary of LWDA. "Additionally, we encounter many businesses that are just not aware of the requirements under the California Labor Code; the EEEC provides an opportunity to educate those businesses on labor and employment responsibilities."

Since July, the EEEC has conducted sweeps in various industries including garment, agriculture, construction, horse racetrack and car washes. The industries targeted are ones that generally employee immigrant and other vulnerable workers who may not understand their rights working in the state and many of whom do not speak English. The investigators on the EEEC team bring flyers in the language of the workers to inform them of their rights and contact numbers where complaints can be filed.

The result of the multi-agency, statewide enforcement sweep in the restaurant industry are as follows for northern and southern California:


Statewide restaurant EEEC sweep - Sept. 14-15, 2005
Northern California Southern California Total for state
Total number of employees 225 278 503
Total employers inspected
29 29 58
Total number of inspections
29 29 58
Total citations issued by DLSE
27 22 49

Total workers' compensation violations DLSE

19 11 30

Total assessment for workers' comp alone DLSE

$101,000 $44,000 $145,000

Total amount of citation assessments DLSE

$247,000 $114,550 $361,550

Projected civil penalties Cal/OSHA

$72,000 $86,000 $158,000

Total number of violations Cal/OSHA

8 138 146

Total number of audit referrals EDD

5 10 15

For more information on the EEEC or this particular sweep contact DIR at www.dir.ca.gov.

###