FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IR #2008-47
July 8, 2008

CONTACT:
Dean Fryer
Thomas Dinh
(415) 703-5050
Internet: www.dir.ca.gov


DIR Distributes Winning Teen Video Public Service Announcement to Theaters Statewide

San Francisco, July 8, 2008—The Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) announces the release of the winning video public service announcement (PSA) created by California teens, between the ages of 14-17, as part of a workplace safety contest. The PSA will be shown at theaters statewide.

“The purpose of the contest is to encourage California teens to take an active role in learning about safety and health and labor requirements in the workplace,” said DIR Director John Duncan. “The contest raises much needed public awareness of workplace safety and child labor laws.”

The winning 2008 PSA was created by Jose Villasenor, Jr., a student of Lindhurst High School in Olivehurst who creatively delivered his message with unique visual effects focusing on workplace safety and health.  

Sponsored by DIR’s Divisions of Occupational Safety and Health and Labor Standards Enforcement, as well as the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation, the contest was opened to all California teens under 18, challenging them to create a 30-second video PSA centering on workplace safety and/or child labor laws.

Villasenor’s PSA will be aired during movie previews at Cinemark Theater in Yuba City, near his home town of Olivehurst, and at theaters through out California from June 27-July 24, which are peak months when parents and teens attend movies most frequently. The PSA will be seen on well over 60 screens averaging 370,000 monthly viewers.

Working teens must also know their employment rights on the job. Teens under 18 are required to obtain a work permit from the schools or school district; cannot perform dangerous work specified under the child labor law guidelines, and they must be paid the minimum wage of $ 8 per hour.

According to DIR’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement over $450,000 in penalties have been issued to businesses for violations of child labor laws last year. Nearly 90 percent of those fines were employers who failed to have work permits for the minors they employed.

DIR was established to improve working conditions for California's wage earners, and to advance opportunities for profitable employment in California.

To view the public service announcement visit http://www.dir.ca.gov/youngworker/PSAcontest08.asp. For more information, visit the DIR Web site at www.dir.ca.gov.

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