Fullerton-Based Contractor Fined $1.9 Million for Wage Theft

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The state Labor Commissioner's Office issued wage theft citations of $1.9 million to Fullerton Pacific Interiors Inc. for failing to properly compensate 472 workers on 26 construction projects throughout Southern California, it was announced today. 

An investigation determined that none of the workers were provided rest periods as required by law, 289 workers were not paid for overtime and 28 workers were paid less than minimum wage, according to labor regulators. The Fullerton-based contractor provided drywall work at hotel, recreation center and casino projects in Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties from August 2014 to June 2016. 

According to Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su, workers performing taping and drywall installation were paid a daily rate that did not properly compensate them for overtime hours. Workers were allowed a 30-minute meal period but did not receive rest breaks, she said.``In construction, unscrupulous contractors attempt to obscure their wage theft by paying workers a flat rate rather than for all hours worked,'' Su said. 

``But a daily or other flat rate system does not take the place of minimum wage and overtime obligations.''The $1.9 million citation penalty amount includes $1.8 million payable to the workers and $72,400 in civil penalties. Of the total due to workers, $798,664 is for rest period violations, $386,685 for unpaid overtime and $692,500 for wage statement violations, according to Su's office. 

The 28 workers shorted on minimum wage pay are owed a total of $14,431 for unpaid wages, liquidated damages and waiting time penalties, according to Su.

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