CAUTIONARY TALE EPISODE 15 « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


Drywall Company Plastered With Nearly $2 Million in Citations

The Labor Commissioner has again looked to the construction industry for its latest round of wage theft citations. A July 24, 2018 release announces that Fullerton Pacific Interiors, Inc. will have to pay over $1.9 million for underpaying several hundred workers over a nearly two-year period.

Affected employees performed taping and drywall installation on hotel, recreation center and casino projects throughout Los Angeles and surrounding counties. The Commissioner found the employer paid the workers a daily rate which did not cover all overtime hours, failed to provide mandated ten minute rest breaks and issued inaccurate itemized wage statements.

Fullerton Pacific must compensate 289 workers $386,685 for unpaid overtime, 472 workers $798,664 for rest period violations and $592,500 for wage statement violations. It also must pay $14,431 in unpaid wages, liquidated damages and waiting time penalties (up to 30 days additional wages for untimely final pay) to those workers who were not paid full minimum wage. The employer is also responsible for $72,400 in civil penalties.

Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su admonished that: “In construction, unscrupulous contractors attempt to obscure their wage theft by paying workers a flat rate rather than for all hours worked. But a daily or other flat rate system does not take the place of minimum wage and overtime obligations.”

The Commissioner’s office was again prompted to investigate after workers complained to a non-profit organization, this time the Carpenters Contractors Cooperation Committee.

Assessments of this magnitude can of course crush a business. It is vital to always pay required minimum wage and overtime to hourly workers, to have proper policy and practice encouraging employees to take their required breaks, and to issue complete and accurate pay stubs in compliance with California law.

For further information, please contact Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

Helena Kobrin

July 26, 2018