FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IR #2007-05
February 22, 2007

CONTACT:
Dean Fryer
Jana Leiran
(415) 703-5050


EEEC announces results of restaurant enforcement sweeps

Sacramento- Investigators with the Economic and Employment Enforcement Coalition (EEEC) targeted businesses in the restaurant industry on Feb. 14 and 15 who were operating illegally. A total of 30 restaurants were visited in Sacramento, Sutter and Yuba Counties.

EEEC is a multi-agency task force designed to root out California's underground economy. In last week's enforcement sweep of restaurants, the EEEC targeted businesses that avoid labor, tax and licensing laws, safety and health regulations and carry no workers' compensation insurance for their employees in order to gain a competitive economic advantage over legitimate businesses that follow the law.

"In California, workers have rights in the workplace and it is our job to make sure labor laws are not violated" said EEEC Executive Director David Dorame. "At the same time, we owe it to responsible employers to vigorously enforce against those who do not comply with California labor laws, thereby, gaining an unfair economic advantage by not following the rules."

The results of the sweep are as follows:
Number of inspections 30
Number of citations issued 32
Total citation amount $202,750
Citations issued for

no workers' compensation, not taking required payroll deductions, not requiring proper work permits for minors and not paying proper minimum wage.

Launched in July'05 with the full support of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the EEEC was formed with a dual mission: To enforce California labor laws; and to educate business owners and workers on those laws and regulations. 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.

EEEC is a collaboration of the Labor and Workforce Development Agency's Department of Industrial Relations (Division of Occupational Safety and Health; Division of Labor Standards Enforcement) and the Employment Development Department. The U.S. Department of Labor participates in the EEEC, as well as the Contractors State License Board when targeting the construction industry.

The EEEC conducts enforcement sweeps in various industries, including garment, agriculture, construction, horse race track, car wash, janitorial and restaurant, which have been identified as having a high degree of workplace violations and lack of regulatory compliance. 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.

###