Labor Commissioner’s Office Stays Busy

California’s Labor Commissioner focuses on money due employees. It is considered wage theft when an employer doesn’t ensure employees receive every penny to which they are legally entitled. This often comes up when certain costs are deducted from wages and end up below the minimum wage, when a company doesn’t pay all the extra premiums or overtime due, etc. A few settlements this year include:

  • Saravanaa Bhavan franchise restaurants in the Bay Area will be paying a settlement of $2.2 million to 317 employees. The franchise wasn’t paying proper minimum wage, overtime, meal premiums, split shift premiums, and they provided inaccurate wage statements and kept tips belonging to employees. The employers are also required to make a personal apology to the employees… a new twist from California.

  • Angel Connection Nursing Care and Angel Connection Nursing Services will be paying more than $1.8 million for wage theft violations. Violations included misclassifying some workers as independent contractors instead of as employees, failure to pay overtime wages, paying some employees less than minimum wage, and failure to provide proper wage statements.

  • Classic Castle Car Wash in Long Beach had to pay $282,000 for not paying for the time employees were on the premises and not paying overtime or minimum wages. The Labor Commissioner’s Office has the ability to secure a lien on real property and used it to recover monies due.

  • Another car wash, Torrance Car Wash, was cited $800,000 for 35 workers who weren’t paid sufficient minimum wage, overtime wages, meal and rest period premiums, and contract wages; and didn’t provide proper wage statements.

We already know how picky California is about employee wages and we have more “special” premiums and calculations related to wages than any other state. This is a good time to stop and audit your own practices before an investigation completely stops your business.

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