California wage theft has cost a construction company more than $1.7 million in fines by the state Labor Commissioner’s Office. The fines stem from alleged failure to pay workers, resulting in overtime and minimum wage violations.
As our Los Angeles wage theft attorneys can explain, companies that steal fair wages from their workers have increasingly been the target of state regulators and labor authorities. Employees who have been victimized by wage theft do have legal recourse, and should consult with an experienced employment lawyer.
In this case, according to FOX 5 San Diego, the construction company in question reportedly failed to pay employees properly as they worked on jobs at both residential and construction projects. It’s purported that 265 workers were impacted by these unfair practices.
The labor commissioner launched an investigation into alleged wage and hour violations starting three years ago, when workers first began reporting they were only being paid for 40 hours of work a week, despite consistently working overtime on mixed-use construction projects in both Los Angeles and San Diego.
The company is reportedly appealing the citations, which allocated $1.6 million in payments to the workers. The Labor Commissioner’s Office will hold a hearing to determine whether the citations will be affirmed, modified or dismissed.
It should be noted that just because a company agrees to pay workers a flat rate doesn’t mean they should be denied pay for overtime hours they earned. California labor laws are in place to protect workers. It’s imperative that workers track their hours and how much they are paid so that they can take action against an employer that swindles them.
California Wage and Hour Law on Overtime
California general overtime provisions are that non-exempt employees aren’t permitted to work more than eight hours in any workday or more than 40 hours in a workweek, unless they receive 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for all overtime hours. Employees are entitled to double their rate of pay for any hours worked in excess of 12 hours in a work day and for all hours in excess of eight on the seventh consecutive day in a work week.
Exemptions are extended to certain qualifications of employees. For instance, some salaried employees may be exempt, though workers are far too often misclassified as being exempt when, in fact, they are not.
It should be noted that state law (Labor Code Section 1194) requires employees be paid all overtime compensation, regardless of any agreement they may have made with an employer to work for a lesser wage.
As of January 2021, minimum wage in California is $13 hourly for companies with 25 or fewer employees and $14 hourly for companies with 26 or more workers. Some cities and counties have higher minimum wage requirements. For example, the City of Los Angeles has a minimum wage rate of $15 hourly. It is unlawful for employers in this state to pay employees less than the minimum wage.
If your employer has violated state wage and hour laws, depriving you of overtime pay or minimum wage, our Los Angeles employment attorneys can help you recover your direct losses and other damages.
Contact the employment attorneys at Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Newport Beach, Riverside and Los Angeles. Call 714-937-2020.
Overtime FAQ, California Department of Industrial Relations
More Blog Entries:
California Wage Theft Criminalized as a Type of Grand Theft, Oct. 28, 2021, Los Angeles Employment Attorney Blog