The Labor Commissioner’s Office has cited La Mina De Oro, Inc., and six other businesses $1,393,909 for wage theft violations affecting 107 workers. The Norco-based businesses operated a designer fragrance distribution warehouse and numerous retail stores in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, with locations in the Los Angeles area and Orange County.
The following businesses and individuals are named in the wage theft citations:
– – La Mina De Oro, Inc., a California Corporation
– – KD Nutley Properties, LLC, a California Limited Liability Company
– – CGC Trading Inc., a California Corporation
– – KD Distributors, Inc., a California Corporation
– – Desire Fragrances Inc., a California Corporation
– – Designer Fragrance Warehouse, a California Corporation
– – Desiree Canlas Nutley, an Individual.
The Labor Commissioner’s Office opened an investigation into the retailer’s operation in June 2018 based on a referral from the Warehouse Worker Resource Center (WWRC), a nonprofit worker-rights community based organization in Ontario. The investigation showed that workers at the retailer’s stores were working off the clock before and after their shifts to receive merchandise from the retailer’s distribution warehouse. They were also forced to work through their meal and rest break periods, particularly during peak holiday seasons.
The citations issued included $126,274 in minimum wages, $102,622 in overtime wages, $188,596 in meal period premiums, $116,113 in rest period premiums, $185,831 in waiting time penalties, $24,563 in contract wages, $160,442 in liquidated damages, and $204,350 in damages to workers. The citations also include $162,750 in penalties payable to the state, $88,200 in civil penalties and $34,168 in interest.
When workers are paid less than minimum wage, they are entitled to liquidated damages that equal the amount of underpaid minimum wages plus interest. Waiting time penalties are imposed when the employer intentionally fails to pay all wages due to the employee at the time of separation. This penalty is calculated by taking the employee’s daily rate of pay and multiplying it by the number of days the employee was not paid, up to a maximum of 30 days.
Enforcement investigations typically include a payroll audit of the previous three years to determine minimum wage, overtime and other labor law violations, and to calculate payments owed and penalties due. Civil penalties collected are transferred to the State’s General Fund as required by law.
According to it’s website, Warehouse Worker Resource Center is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3), organization founded in 2011, dedicated to improving working conditions in the warehouse industry in Southern California. It focuses on education, advocacy and action to change poor working conditions in the largest hub of warehousing in the country.
It assists workers dealing with issues of health and safety, wage theft and workers’ compensation when injured. It also serves as a community center for workers, family members and supporters interested in knowing their rights, joining with other workers to share experiences and learn from each other, and building a movement for workers’ rights in the Inland Empire and throughout Southern California.
“Workers in the warehouse industry who experience wage theft should report it to the Labor Commissioner’s Office,” added García-Brower. “My office will work to hold the employer accountable, ensure workers get their owed wages, and prevent law-abiding employers from being undercut.”