$12 Million In Citations For California’s Largest Private Company Wage Theft Case

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Denis ZilberbergMarch 23, 2019Wage & Hour Law

A Los Angeles construction subcontractor found out the hard way that California’s labour 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 labour laws, innocent employees are the ones who suffer the consequences.

Alleged violations

California’s labour commissioner found that RDV Construction violated workers’ rights on 35 construction sites in the Los Angeles area and more than 1,000 labourers’ 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.

$12 million in citations

A Department of Industrial Relations’ news release provided that, the 12 million dollar calculation came from the following six violations and penalties:

  • $566,897 overtime violations
  • $882,981 improper wage statements
  • $1,623,020 minimum wage violations
  • $1,692,430 liquidated damages for minimum wage violations
  • $1,769,782 rest break violations
  • $5,407,944 waiting time 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.”

California minimum wage

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.

California waiting penalties

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.

California rest period penalties

With some exceptions, workers in California are entitled to 10 minutes of 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 has 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 labour 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.



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