California Sweep Leads to Citations for Underground Operators

June 13, 2014

A multi-agency task force consisting of more than 100 detectives and investigators focused on curbing California’s underground economy conducted a sweep across major metropolitan areas statewide issuing more than 60 citations for various violations and six work stop-orders, according to the California Department of Insurance.

Violations found among the nearly 100 businesses contacted included no workers’ compensation insurance, no valid contractor’s license, serious safety violations cited by the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, including one with an estimated $20,000 regulatory fine. The Contractors State License Board found six violations, ranging from advertising to safety issues. The Employment Development Department identified 15 possible administrative violations.

Worplace Safety Workers Compensation Worker Injury ConstructionParticipating in the sweep were detectives and investigators from the Department of Insurance, Contractors State License Board, Department of Labor (Division of Occupational Safety and Health; Division of Labor Standards and Enforcement), the Franchise Tax Board, Employment Development Department and district attorneys’ offices in Santa Clara, Alameda, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and Ventura.

“California’s underground economy results in a multi-billion dollar hit to California’s economy,” Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said in a statement. “This fraudulent activity hurts legitimate businesses that play by the rules. The coordinated effort of this multi-agency task force is an ongoing effort to level the playing field by putting a stop to the illegal activities of business owners that cheat the system at the expense of law abiding businesses and consumers.”

Anyone aware of information regarding a contractor or business operating without the proper insurance or someone who has committed workers’ comp can call 1-800-927-HELP.

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