Menu Close

Nearly 150 former workers of an elder-care business in West Hills will be paid more than $8.3 million in a wage theft investigation that found employees were subjected to “oppressive” conditions and paid as little as $2.40 hourly, according to the state Labor Commissioner’s Office.

The Oct. 1 judgment will compensate 148 employees who worked at six Adat Shalom Board & Care locations. It upholds wage-theft citations issued to the business and owner Angelica Reingold in 2018.

The facilities, which have since been re-branded as Land of Peace, are all in West Hills with various addresses on Kittridge Street and Sale Avenue.

Pilipino Workers Center, a nonprofit that helps Filipino workers and their families, referred the case to the California Commissioner’s Office and assisted in identifying employees during the investigation.

The Labor Commissioner’s Office opened its investigation in June 2017 after receiving a report of labor law violations. The investigation uncovered that from July 2014 to July 2017, the caregivers at the six facilities in West Hills were:

– – Paid less than the minimum wage for each hour they worked.
– – Not paid overtime for working 24-hour shifts, six days a week.
– – Not relieved from their duties to take meal or rest breaks.
– – Provided pay stubs that withheld key information such as hourly rate of pay and total number of hours worked.

The live-in caregivers were responsible for monitoring and caring for elderly residents and hospice patients, many of them suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia. The caregivers were paid fixed amounts ranging from $1,500 to $1,800 per month, or $2.40 to $2.88 per hour.

Aquilina Soriano Versoza, the center’s executive director, said employees at the care facilities could sleep at certain times but were still on call 24 hours a day. “They listened to monitors and had to leave their doors open so they’d be ready to respond,” she said. “They had to ask permission to leave if they needed to run to the store.”

Residential care workers, leaders from Pilipino Workers Center and other supporters held a press conference Wednesday to announce the Labor Commissioner’s decision. The judgment includes:

– – $1,623,384 for minimum wages owed
– – $1,939,112 for unpaid overtime
– – $2,540,675 in liquidated damages
– – $152,441 for meal period wages owed
– – $2,100,405 in prejudgment interest

Founded in 1997, Pilipino Workers Center (PWC) is a non-profit 501(c)3 that organizes the low-wage Pilipinx community in Southern California to demand better living and working conditions. PWC provides support for human trafficking survivors, immigration services, affordable housing, workforce training, education on workers’ rights, wage theft enforcement, free tax preparation, and a cooperative for homecare workers.