California Labor Commissioner Fines Contractors more than $1.8 Million for Public Works Violations at UCLA, Saddleback Community College in Orange County and G3 Charter School in San Fernando Valley
LOS ANGELES, May 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su has ordered three contractors to pay $1,821,453 in wage, training fund and penalty assessments for prevailing wage and apprenticeship violations on public works projects at UCLA, Saddleback Community College in Orange County and the Global Green Generational (G3) Charter School in Pacoima.
Three separate investigations into B.A. Marble & Granite, Inc. of North Hollywood, Phoenix Floors of Orange and Johnson Business Holdings, dba Production Plumbing of Rancho Santa Margarita revealed willful labor law violations that adversely affected 94 workers.
“The Labor Commissioner has reinvigorated public works enforcement in the state,” said Christine Baker, director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). The Labor Commissioner’s Office, also known as the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, is a division of DIR.
“Let these enforcement actions serve as notice that wage theft – whether it be through nonpayment of overtime, failure to pay proper prevailing wage, underreporting of hours worked, bounced checks used to pay working people, and cheating on apprenticeship training funds, – will not be tolerated in this state,” said Labor Commissioner Su.
In the first case, Labor Commissioner Su ordered tile contractor B.A. Marble & Granite Inc.to pay $539,051 in wages, $4,693 in apprenticeship training funds and $652,600 in fines for the failure to pay 55 employees the proper wage for installing tile in bathrooms at the De Neve Residence Halls project at the Westwood Campus. UCLA hired general contractor PCL Construction Services, Inc. to construct the student housing. PCL in turn hired B.A. Marble for the tiling.
B.A Marble falsified documents, attempted to intimidate the workers to impede the investigation and deliberately refused to provide information for the case in an attempt to avoid paying workers the prevailing wage and complying with other applicable public works and labor laws.
In the second case, Labor Commissioner Su ordered Phoenix Floors to pay $275,518 in wages, $5,599 in apprenticeship training funds and $123,150 in penalties for willful labor law violations committed at the South Orange County Community College District project. The District hired Phoenix Floors to install vinyl flooring throughout a renovation to the Learning Resource Center at Saddleback College.
Phoenix Floors falsified Certified Payroll Records and set up a scheme whereby a third party, an employee, was paid 90% of the invoice amount and used that money to pay out wages to 30 workers, who were subsequently paid far less than the prevailing wage for the project. Phoenix Floors also failed to pay proper overtime to these workers and failed to make required contributions to a DIR-approved training program for the California Apprenticeship Council (CAC).
In the third case, Johnson Business Holdings, dba Production Plumbing was ordered to pay $183,807 in wages, $6,385 in apprenticeship training funds and $30,605 in penalties for issuing checks with nonsufficient funds, underreporting hours, and misclassifying nine workers in order to pay a lower prevailing wage rate. Production Plumbing committed these willful labor violations while installing plumbing and piping work at the Vaughn Next Century Learning Center’s new construction of the G3 Charter School. Vaughn Next Century Learning Center, located in Pacoima, is a large urban public school within the Los Angeles Unified School District.
The Labor Commissioner’s office, also known as the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, adjudicates wage claims, investigates discrimination and public works complaints and enforces state labor law. Additional information on labor laws and work-related topics are available on our website as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
Employees with work-related questions or complaints may call the toll-free California Workers’ Information Line at (866) 924-9757 for recorded information, in English and Spanish, on a variety of work-related topics.
For media inquiries contact Erika Monterroza at (510) 286-1164 or Peter Melton at (510) 286-7046.
SOURCE California Department of Industrial Relations, California Labor Commissioner