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Two companies settle wage and hour claims for $1.1 million

On Behalf of | Dec 19, 2023 | Wage And Hour Claims

California has numerous laws to protect employees working for private and public employers in the state. Some of these laws protect employees’ rights to be paid fairly for all hours completed, overtime compensation, and fringe benefits. Despite these laws, some companies fail to pay employees what they are owed. Recently, the California Department of Labor and Industrial Relations settled a large wage and hour claim filed by 74 workers against an engineering firm and a construction company with which the firm contracted.

Large settlement in favor of workers

Under California law, companies receiving $1,000 or more in public works funds to perform work on public projects in the state are required to pay employees the prevailing wages and to have programs in place meeting apprenticeship standards. Seventy-four employees of Perry Construction and Strong Engineering filed a complaint with the Labor Commission in 2017, alleging the companies failed to pay the prevailing wage, overtime compensation, and fringe benefits.

The Labor Commission commenced its investigation of the wage and hour claims and cited the two companies in Oct. 2020, finding that they had failed to pay the workers prevailing wages and ordering them to pay liquidated damages and interest. The two companies filed a review request in Dec. 2020. However, after litigating the matter for more than two years, the companies withdrew the request in July 2023 and agreed to settle the case for $1.1 million.

The Director of the Department of Industrial Relations reviews and sets the prevailing wages each year. Companies receiving public works money must pay affected employees the prevailing wages for their positions in the industry. If they fail to do so, they can face substantial liability, penalties, and fines. The money recovered through the claim will be paid to the 74 employees. They will finally receive the money they were entitled to when they performed work for their employers.