Fresno County Is Latest Enforcement Zone For State Contractors Board and Partners
Economic and Employment Enforcement Coalition targets State's multi-billion dollar underground economy problem
SACRAMENTO — Fresno County was the latest enforcement target for the Contractors State License Board and other partners in the State's Economic and Employment Enforcement Coalition (EEEC). Besides the Contractors Board the EEEC partnering agencies are the Department of Industrial Relations' Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA), Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) and the Employment Development Department (EDD). The EEEC's focus is going after those participating in California's huge illegal underground economy.
In this latest series of sweeps, three partnered teams visited 24 different construction sites on Wednesday and Thursday (April 5 & 6) in the Fresno area. Nine of the operations were ordered to halt until the violations were cleared up. The teams interviewed more than 130 workers, managers, owners, and safety officers and checked the businesses' paperwork. The sweep resulted in more than $200,000 in potential fines and penalties. (Additional breakdown numbers at end of release)
Sweeps like this target businesses that avoid labor, tax and licensing laws to gain a competitive advantage over the almost 300,000 legitimate contractors who follow the law. The underground economy is fueled in part by unlicensed contractors who also prey upon consumers, endanger employees and cheat on taxes. It's estimated that anywhere from $60 and $140 billion a year moves through the underground economy. Taxes on this money could be going towards schools, roads and law enforcement instead of lining the pockets of lawbreakers.
"We're all affected by contractors who break the law. Not only do they take business away from legitimate business people, they're putting consumers at risk," said CSLB Registrar Steve Sands. "If a consumer has a problem, there's very little that can be done to help them. Plus, if a worker gets hurt while on their property, the consumer could be responsible for paying the medical bills."
The sweeps resulted in the following:
|DLSE Citation Fines Assessed||$99,900|
|Cal/OSHA Projected Penalties||$113,500|
|CSLB License Checks||63|
|CSLB Licenses Cleared||58|
More fines or citations are possible if audits are requested after further review of the paperwork for the companies involved.
Operations in the Sacramento Valley, San Diego, Kern, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara Counties and Riverside counties have netted over 350 violations and around a million dollars in potential fines since the Coalitions creation last July.
Other Task Force teams are conducting similar industry sweeps in agriculture, restaurant, car wash, garment manufacturing, janitorial and racetrack businesses.
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