SAN FRANCISCO-- California's garment and agricultural industries saw the recovery of more than $4.6 million in wages to workers, along with notable labor law compliance improvement in 1996, according to the Fourth Annual Report of the Targeted Industries Partnership Program (TIPP). The report, released today by the California Department of Industrial Relations to detail the work of the joint State, federal and local government enforcement and education effort targeting those industries illustrates the results of battling the state's underground economy, announced DIR Acting Director John Duncan.
"The report we are issuing today is encouraging, and shows in all areas that the TIPP program can be considered a success for 1996," Duncan said. "Enforcement efforts, which are now augmented with 24 Los Angeles positions and includes the partnership of the California Employment Development Department, have proceeded at a record pace. While TIPP's education component is working well, we continue to focus enforcement efforts on the recidivist employer who unfairly tilts the playing field."
In 1996, TIPP increased enforcement efforts in both California's garment and agriculture industries with 1,197 inspections, a 12 percent increase over the previous year. It resulted in the recovery of $4,672,075 in back wages for garment and agricultural workers and represents an increase of 27 percent over 1995. In addition, the total number of citations issued in both industries also increased to 1,036, a jump of 28 percent over 1995.
TIPP targeted the employers who fed the underground economy in 1996, those who ignored minimum wage laws, registration and permit requirements, and failed to pay overtime wages. The addition of the California Employment Development Department as a lead agency in 1996 has enabled TIPP to more effectively target this illegal underground economy. Results include:
TIPP continued to improve its collection rate on penalties assessed to 30 percent in 1996, up from 23 percent in 1995.
"Clearly our efforts have made a difference with exceptional compliance in the San Francisco area," Duncan said. "A TIPP survey conducted this year of 43 apparel manufacturers found 100 percent of the business owners in compliance with minimum wage laws, and 79 percent paying overtime wages correctly."
TIPP combines and coordinates resources from State, federal and local agencies to enforce labor laws and educate employers and employees about those laws. The program was chosen in 1996 by the national Council of State Governments to receive its Innovations in Government Award, one of eight national winners recognized for establishing programs which open an innovative approach to administration of state government.
TIPP was launched in 1992 as a two-year pilot program but was extended indefinitely with a broadened jurisdiction following its immediate impact. During its four years, TIPP recovered and paid California's poorest workers more than $11.6 million in back wages.
The program's five lead agencies, California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, California Employment Development Department, California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA), and U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, develop TIPP's agenda and recruit and coordinate other state and local agencies to participate in that effort. TIPP has coordinated up to 12 agencies in a single enforcement action.
Note: A copy of the Fourth Annual Report can be obtained by request from the Department of Industrial Relations, (415) 972-8835.