FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IR #2006-12
March 24, 2006

CONTACT:
Dean Fryer
Renée Bacchini
(415) 703-5050


Economic and Employment Enforcement Coalition announces results of restaurant enforcement sweeps

Riverside – Investigators with the Economic and Employment Enforcement Coalition (EEEC) targeted businesses in the restaurant industry on March 22 and 23 who were operating illegally. A total of 18 restaurants were visited in the Riverside and San Bernardino areas.
EEEC is a multi-agency task force designed to investigate California’s underground economic activity. In this week’s enforcement sweep of restaurants in the Riverside/San Bernardino area, the EEEC targeted businesses that avoid labor, tax and licensing laws, safety and health regulations and provide no workers’ compensation insurance to their employees in order to gain a competitive economic advantage over legitimate businesses that follow the law.

“In California all workers have rights and it is our goal to protect them,” said Acting State Labor Commissioner Robert Jones. “Also, responsible employers deserve vigorous enforcement to level the playing field. Using a multi-agency approach to an enforcement sweep leverages government resources and encourages unscrupulous employers – who gain an unfair economic advantage by not following the rules – to come into compliance.”

The results of the sweep are as follows:

Number of inspections 18
Number of citations issued 26
Total citation amount $132,750
Cal/OSHA violations 46
Citations issued for no workers’ compensation, not taking required payroll deductions and not requiring proper work permits for minors

Launched in July ’05 with the full support of Governor Schwarzenegger, the EEEC was formed with a dual mission: to enforce California labor laws; and to educate business owners and workers. On the enforcement side, the EEEC aims to root out businesses participating in the underground economy, which cost the state and legitimate businesses millions each year, in many cases passing the cost on to the consumer. In addition, EEEC helps educate business owners on California’s employment laws and their responsibilities, and educates employees on their rights as workers.

The EEEC conducts sweeps in various industries including garment, agriculture, construction, horse race track, car wash, janitorial and restaurant. EEEC also holds workshops throughout the state to educate employers and workers on labor and wage issues. For more information on the EEEC, please visit our website at www.dir.ca.gov.

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