FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IR #2008-04
February 1, 2008

CONTACT:
Kate McGuire
(415) 703-5050


EEEC issues citations to agricultural companies in Imperial & Riverside counties

Riverside – February 1, 2008 — Investigators with the Economic and Employment Enforcement Coalition (EEEC) recently issued citations to agricultural businesses located in Imperial & Riverside counties for safety and labor violations.

"California law provides protections for workers and it is our responsibility to ensure that the laws are being followed," said EEEC Executive Director David Dorame. "We also owe responsible employers vigorous enforcement against those who don't comply with California labor laws, thereby, gaining an unfair economic advantage by not following the rules."

Investigators conducted 28 inspections on January 23 and 24 and issued 26 violations totaling $12,750 in penalties. Employers were cited for not paying minimum wage, failing to provide sufficient meal and rest periods, inappropriate operation of driverless tractors and operating tractors with defective seat belts. Citations were also issued for failure to provide adequate tools for hand weeding, not providing adequate toilets on site and having drinking water too far away from work areas.

To request a complete list of the violations and businesses cited email the Department of Industrial Relations at: Communications@dir.ca.gov .

Launched in July of 2005 with the full support of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the EEEC is a multi-agency task force designed to root out California’s underground economy by enforcing California labor laws, and educating business owners and workers about those laws and regulations in workshops held regularly statewide.

Businesses engaged in the underground economy deprive the state and legitimate businesses of millions of dollars each year, and in many cases, pass the cost on to the consumer.

During unannounced enforcement sweeps, the EEEC targets businesses that avoid labor, tax and licensing laws, safety and health regulations and carry no workers’ compensation insurance for their employees.

EEEC is currently targeting garment, agriculture, construction, pallet, auto body, car wash and restaurant businesses. These industries have been identified as having a high incidence of workplace violations and a lack of regulatory compliance.

In collaboration with the Labor and Workforce Development Agency’s Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and the Employment Development Department, EEEC works directly with DIR’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health and Division of Labor Standards Enforcement to carry out its mission. The U.S. Department of Labor also participates in the EEEC as does the Contractors State License Board when the construction industry is being targeted.

For more information on the EEEC, please visit our website at www.dir.ca.gov.

###