FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IR #07-24
May 29, 2007

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


Los Angeles garment enforcement sweeps conducted by EEEC

Los Angeles - Investigators with the Economic and Employment Enforcement Coalition (EEEC) recently targeted businesses in the garment industry operating illegally. EEEC investigators visited a total of 37 garment shops in Los Angeles and Riverside Counties.

EEEC is a multi-agency task force designed to root out California's underground economy. In last week's enforcement sweep of garment shops, 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.

"Laws relating to enforcement in the garment industry are somewhat different than other industries. Our enforcement efforts can result in the confiscation of garments that are produced illegally, preventing them from entering into the state's economy," said EEEC Executive Director David Dorame. "Our efforts are designed to not only protect employees but to also protect employers who follow state laws."

The results of the sweep are as follows:

Number of inspections37
Confiscations4
Number of citations issued57
Total citation amount$969,850
Citations issued forno workers' compensation, not taking required payroll deductions,
not keeping proper payroll records, underpayment of overtime and minimum wage, and not having the proper garment registrations.

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 costs 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.

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