FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Santa Clara - Investigators with the Economic and Employment Enforcement Coalition (EEEC) targeted businesses in the agriculture industry on May 12 who were operating illegally. A total of 26 inspections were completed in the Santa Clara, San Benito and Monterey areas.
EEEC is a multi-agency task force designed to investigate California's underground economic activity. In this week's enforcement sweep of agriculture employers, the EEEC targeted businesses that avoid labor, tax and licensing laws, safety and health regulations and provide no workers' compensation insurance to their employees in order to gain a competitive economic advantage over legitimate businesses that follow the law.
"California employees are entitled to proper wages as well as safe working conditions," said Acting State Labor Commissioner Robert Jones. "Using a multi-agency approach to an enforcement sweep leverages government resources while providing protections for employee and encouraging unscrupulous employers - who gain an unfair economic advantage by not following the rules - to come into compliance."
The results of the sweep are as follows:
Number of inspections
|Number of wage/hour citations issued||14|
|Number of safety violations found||90|
|Total wage/hour citation amount||$120,600|
|Projected penalties for safety violations||
In addition, citations were issued for no workers' compensation, minimum wage, not providing itemized wage deductions and no work permits for minors.
Launched in July'05 with the full support of Governor Schwarzenegger, the EEEC was formed with a dual mission: to enforce California labor laws; and to educate business owners and workers. 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 cost 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.
The EEEC conducts sweeps in various industries including garment, agriculture, construction, horse race track, car wash, janitorial and restaurant. 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.