FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IR #2006-14
April 4, 2006

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


Economic and Employment Enforcement Coalition announces results of car wash sweeps

Fresno - Investigators with the Economic and Employment Enforcement Coalition (EEEC) targeted businesses in the car wash industry on March 29 that were operating illegally. A total of 15 car washes were visited in the city of Fresno.

EEEC is a multi-agency task force designed to investigate California's underground economic activity. In this week's enforcement sweep of car washes in the Fresno 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 15
Number of citations issued 10
Total citation amount $38,850
Cal/OSHA projected citations $16,500

In addition, citations were issued for no workers' compensation or minimum wage, nor providing itemized wage deductions and no 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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