FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IR #2008-19
April 15, 2008

CONTACT:
Erika Monterroza
(415) 703-5050


San Diego Auto Body Shops Cited for Widespread Labor Violations

San Diego—April 15, 2008—The Labor and Workforce Development Agency today announced that Economic Employment Enforcement Coalition (EEEC) investigators issued 41 citations for labor violations – with fines totaling more than $226,000 – in a recent sweep of 28 San Diego auto body businesses.

The enforcement actions, conducted on April 9 and 10 in conjunction with Bureau of Automotive Repair authorities, uncovered serious violations that included:

"These shops failed to carry workers’ compensation insurance, and that’s a violation we take very seriously," said EEEC Director David Dorame. "In these cases, we issue work stop orders and send employees home until the business proves an active policy is in place to cover workers. By targeting enforcement against illegal operators, we help level the playing field for law abiding businesses."

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 by 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.

Employees with work-related questions or complaints can call the toll-free California Workers’ Information Hotline at 1-866-924-9757, available in English and Spanish.

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