Labor Enforcement Task Force Takes Action to Protect Southern California Workers

Labor Enforcement Task Force Takes Action to Protect Southern California Workers



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LOS ANGELES, Oct. 18, 2018 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — California’s Labor Enforcement Task Force (LETF) has discovered safety violations during targeted inspections that put workers in immediate danger of fatal and serious injuries, including amputation and lacerations. The task force issued orders shutting down dangerous machinery at seven high-risk work sites in Southern California, including four car wash and three manufacturing businesses.

“Workers in the underground economy are exposed to dangerous job conditions without the proper protections, and subjected to wage theft and other financial abuses,” said Dominic Forrest, LETF Chief. “Our work to target and uncover businesses operating in these conditions protects workers and encourages compliance with labor and safety laws.”

At the four car washes, task force inspectors discovered that industrial water extractors for towels did not have functioning interlock devices to stop the machines when the door is unlocked or open. Inspectors issued stop orders known as Orders Prohibiting Use to Pasadena Auto Wash, Baldwin Park Hand Car Wash and Star Auto Spa in El Monte, and Fair Oaks Car Wash in Altadena. Cal/OSHA removed the stop orders at Pasadena Auto Wash and Fair Oaks Car Wash after the machinery was adequately repaired. The other two businesses have not corrected the hazards.

Inspectors also cited Baldwin Park Hand Car Wash $6,000 for violation of child labor laws after finding minors working in dangerous occupations.

“LETF monitors not only for safety violations, but also for violations of wage, tax and licensing laws,” added LETF Chief Forrest. “We issue stop orders when we find hazards that require immediate action to prevent serious injury and we also offer information that helps employers understand and follow their responsibilities.”

Imminent safety hazards were also discovered when LETF inspected three manufacturing companies located in Santa Ana: Maximum Security Safes, Trinity Window Fashions and Pierre’s Fine Carpentry. Inspectors issued orders to shut down woodworking table saws that were not properly guarded. The orders were subsequently lifted after the hazards were corrected.  

LETF inspectors also issued stop-work orders and cited Trinity Window Fashions $3,000 and Pierre’s Fine Carpentry $1,500 for failure to maintain workers’ compensation insurance. The orders were lifted after the companies provided proof of insurance.  

LETF is a coalition of California state agencies formed in 2012 to combat the underground economy. The task force operates under the direction of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and conducts monthly inspections in high-risk industries. LETF member partners include DIR divisions Cal/OSHA and the Labor Commissioner’s Office, officially known as the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, the Contractors State License Board, the Employment Development Department, the California Department of Insurance, the Bureau of Automotive Repair, Alcoholic Beverage Control and the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration.

Leads on underground employers and reports of labor law violations can be submitted online through LETF’s Online Referral Form, by emailing the information to LETF@dir.ca.gov, or by calling LETF toll-free at 1-855-297-5322. LETF labor law publications for both workers and employers are also available for free online.

Employees with work-related questions or complaints may contact DIR’s Call Center in English or Spanish at 844-LABOR-DIR (844-522-6734). The California Workers’ Information line at 866-924-9757 provides recorded information in English and Spanish on a variety of work-related topics.

Members of the press may contact Peter Melton or Lucas Brown at (510) 286-1161, and are encouraged to subscribe to get email alerts on DIR’s press releases or other departmental updates.

The California Department of Industrial Relations, established in 1927, protects and improves the health, safety, and economic well-being of over 18 million wage earners, and helps their employers comply with state labor laws. DIR is housed within the Labor & Workforce Development Agency. For general inquiries, contact DIR’s Call Center at 844-LABOR-DIR (844-522-6734) for help in locating the appropriate division or program in our department.

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SOURCE California Department of Industrial Relations; California Labor Enforcement Task Force

Labor Enforcement Task Force Takes Action to Protect Southern California Workers