- The California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), also known as the Labor Commissioner’s Office, has cited specialty contractor RDV Construction, based in City of Industry, California, for allegedly committing $12 million of wage theft violations against more than 1,000 employees.
- The Labor Commissioner’s Office said that RDV's illicit actions cover a wide range of offenses, including not making good on bounced checks, illegally withholding up to 25% of employee pay, not providing required rest breaks or overtime, failing to pay minimum wage and issuing improper wage statements. The $12 million also includes more than $5.4 million for not paying employees in a timely manner and almost $1.7 million in liquidated damages.
- Worker complaints to the nonprofit, labor management organization Carpenters Contractors Cooperation Committee (CCCC) launched the state’s investigation, which included the examination of RDV records as far back as three years. RDV CEO Rafael Rivas and project managers Juan Rivas and Nicolas Del Villar are jointly and severally liable for the citations.
Contractors who try to cheat employees out of overtime, the minimum wage or other pay and benefit requirements should be looking over their shoulders in this current enforcement environment. All across the U.S., state regulatory agencies have started targeting construction companies that try to take advantage of their workers.
In California, the CCCC also played a role in another Labor Commissioner’s Office action in July. Workers complained to the organization about drywall subcontractor Fullerton Pacific Interiors for wage violations similar to those for which RDV has been cited. The state said Fullerton will need to fork over $1.9 million to settle claims that the company did not pay hundreds of employees appropriately from August 2014 to June 2016.
One of the state's claims is that Fullerton did not provide employees with the required 10-minute rest breaks. A few minutes of back wages might not seem like a great deal of money, but California contractors need to be aware that failure to give employees breaks will result in owing one full hour of pay for every day a required break was denied.
Across the country in Massachusetts, the Attorney General’s office went after a Leominster contractor late last year for wage violations, including not paying employees on time and taking illegal deductions. The state also claimed that Force Corp. was requiring employees to buy tools from a supplier owned by one of the company’s managers. Force Corp. must pay more than $837,000 in restitution and penalties.