California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra has charged an Anaheim janitorial company with wage theft and fraud. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the company that services more than 80 major retail stores across Southern California paid its 150 workers just $400 a month over the past four years, which amounts to far below the minimum wage.
Wage and Hour Violations
Becerra announced the lawsuit against the company, One Source Facility Solution and its CEO, calling it a company without scruples. Major retailers in the area such as Ross Dress-for-Less, JoAnn’s Fabrics, Toys R Us and Burlington Coat Factory use this company’s services. However, the retailers are protected against wage and hour lawsuits because they contract out their janitor services. However, Becerra sent out a warning to retailers saying that they have a responsibility as well when they hire a contracting firm to perform services.
The lawsuit states One Source paid its workers fixed amounts for particular services such as scrubbing or floor waxing, and did not keep accurate records of hours worked or pay the state minimum wage, which had increased from $8 to $10.50 an hour over the four years that are covered by the lawsuit. In addition, One Source also underreported payroll taxes and provided false information to its workers’ comp insurance carrier, the lawsuit alleges. The suit seeks at least $1 million in back wages for workers and other civil penalties.
The Register reports that even though the state’s labor commissioner has filed a number of complaints against contractors who have stiffed workers, it has not been very efficient when it comes to collecting back pay and fines as companies either go out of business or re-incorporate under different names. A 2015 California law tightened enforcement and allowed the labor commissioner to place a lien on the property of employers who refuse to pay a judgment.
Fighting for Workers’ Rights
Our California class action lawyers applaud the attorney general for going after these unscrupulous employers who refuse to pay their workers wages that they earned with hard physical labor. A report released by the Economic Policy Institute this year showed that in the nation’s 10 most populous states, 2.4 million workers lose $8 billion annually to minimum wage violations, which is nearly a quarter of their earned wages. This form of wage theft affects 17 percent of low-wage workers with workers in all demographic categories being cheated out of pay.
If you believe that your employer is not paying you the wages you earned, contact an experienced California employment lawyer who will fight for your rights, hold your employer accountable, and help you secure fair compensation for your losses.