A Los Angeles construction subcontractor found out the hard way that California’s labor commission is tough on violations of the state’s wage and hour laws. RDV Construction was at the heart of California’s largest private company wage theft case and was ordered to pay $12 million dollars for its alleged violations. Los Angeles wage and hour attorneys understand that when employers violate labor laws, innocent employees are the ones who suffer the consequences.
California’s labor commissioner found that RDV Construction violated workers’ rights on 35 construction sites in the Los Angeles area and more than 1,000 laborers’ rights to minimum wage, overtime, and rest breaks were violated. RDV hired crews for framing, drywall, and other work and provided them with paychecks that could not be cashed due to insufficient funds. The drywall company failed to reimburse workers for those bounced checks for long periods of time and when they finally received back pay, the company wrongfully withheld between 10 and 25 percent of their earnings.
A Department of Industrial Relations’ news release provided that, the 12 million dollar calculation came from the following six violations and penalties:
California Labor Secretary, Julie A. Su, was quoted as saying, “After a hard day’s work, the last thing a construction worker should have to face is a paycheck that bounces. Stealing earned wages from workers’ pockets is illegal in California and this case shows that employers who steal from their workers will end up paying for it in the end.”
When employers violate minimum wage laws and pay employees less than the minimum they are entitled to receive, they are allowed liquidated damages. The amount of liquidated damages equals the amount owed to employees plus interest. As you can see above, the liquidated damages were significant in RDV’s case where they were required to pay almost $1.7 million dollars in liquidated damages.
When an employer fails to pay all wages due at the time they are owed, a waiting time penalty may be imposed. The employee’s daily rate of pay, multiplied by the number of days the employee was not paid (maximum 30 days), is used to calculate the penalty amount and in RDV’s case, this was their most substantial penalty at $5.4 million dollars.
With some exceptions, workers in California are entitled to 10 minutes rest for every four hours of work. When required rest periods are violated, employers will pay one hour of pay at the worker’s regular pay rate for each workday that a worker did not receive a break, plus civil penalties. RDV was penalized almost $1.8 million dollars for rest break violations.
Employers are held to high standards here in Los Angeles and throughout California and when they violate labor laws, they are penalized and employee victims are compensated. If you believe you are a victim of wage theft, contact a Los Angeles wage and hour attorney at the Kaufman Law Firm to schedule a consultation.
Your job is more than just a source of income. It is a major part of your lifestyle. If you have been the victim of wrongful termination, wrongful demotion or any kind of discriminatory business practices, it is time to take action and contact a Ventura employment law attorney that can help. Attorney Matthew A. Kaufman and the team at The Kaufman Law Firm bring experience and a vast arsenal of legal resources to help clients recover the money they deserve.
To learn more, contact our Westlake Village or Los Angeles law office today and schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.