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The Labor Commissioner’s Office has settled a lawsuit against Glendale-based Calcrete Construction Inc. for over $1 million for multiple wage theft violations, including overtime and paid sick leave law violations, affecting 249 construction workers.

“This employer used various illegal tactics to circumvent paying owed wages,” said Labor Commissioner Lilia García-Brower. “My team responded aggressively to recover stolen wages and expose systemic violations.”

The Labor Commissioner’s Office began investigating in October 2016 after receiving a complaint from the Carpenters / Contractors Cooperation Committee, a union-affiliated, non-profit organization that advocates for workplace compliance within the construction industry.

The investigation found that Calcrete failed to pay workers for overtime hours, allocate pay for sick leave and provide proper wage statements. As one example, Calcrete employees regularly worked 45-68 hours a week but were not paid overtime during a two-year period audited from 2014-2016. The settlement will pay workers overtime wages owed with interest, with payments ranging from $344 to $20,893.

The Labor Commissioner’s Office filed a lawsuit against Calcrete Construction, Inc. in August 2017, seeking $6,300,338 for multiple wage theft violations affecting a group of 249 construction workers and the willful misclassification of 175workers as independent contractors.

The lawsuit claimed that beginning in August 2016, Calcrete forced its workers under threat of termination to sign contracts stating they were independent contractors.The company then used staffing agencies Dominion Staffing and Southeast Personnel Leasing to pay the workers.

Calcrete employees typically worked 10-12 hours Monday through Friday and eight hours on Saturday. They were paid only their regular hourly rate and not for the 18-28 hours of overtime they regularly worked. Thisunderpayment occurred for a nearly two-year period from 2014-16, the lawsuit specifies.

Enforcement investigations typically include a payroll audit of previous years to determine minimum wage, overtime, and other labor law violations, and to calculate payments owed and penalties due. When workers are paid less than minimum wage, they are entitled to liquidated damages that equal the amount of underpaid minimum wages plus interest.

The Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (California Labor Commissioner’s Office) combats wage theft and unfair competition by investigating allegations of illegal and unfair business practices.

Workers employed at Calcrete beginning August 1, 2014 to September 30, 2016 should contact the LCO at 833-LCO-INFO (833-526-4636), as they may be entitled to owed wages and damages under this settlement agreement.