California Contractor Fined $1.5 Million for Failing to Pay Workers

“We believe the employer intentionally underpaid its workers," said California State Labor Commissioner Angela Bradstreet. "This not only robs those employees of the money they earned, it also hurts other contractors who chose to do the right thing and comply with the law."

California State Labor Commissioner Angela Bradstreet recently ordered Russell/Thompson Inc., a framing contractor, to pay $1.3 million in wages and $200,000 in fines for failure to pay 74 employees the proper wage for their work at Tercero Housing Project at the University of California, Davis. Bradstreet issued a civil wage and penalty assessment in an effort to collect the money owed to the workers.

“Our investigation uncovered serious wage violations in this case,” Bradstreet said. “We believe the employer intentionally underpaid its workers. This not only robs those employees of the money they earned, it also hurts other contractors who chose to do the right thing and comply with the law. I believe the action my office is taking against Russell/Thompson and 84 Lumber Inc. will serve as a deterrent to any company that is thinking about undermining its employees or the state’s wage laws.”

An investigation by the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) Division of Labor Standards Enforcement uncovered evidence which established that Russell/Thompson willfully violated the law by failing to pay proper prevailing wages on a public works project at UC Davis. Russell/Thompson failed to pay overtime and misclassified workers by identifying them as lower paying positions rather than higher rate skilled positions that they worked. It was also uncovered that Russell/Thompson falsified payroll records.

UC Davis hired Brown Construction Inc. as the general contractor, which in turn contracted with 84 Lumber Inc. to perform the framing work on the Tercero Project. 84 Lumber Inc. subcontracted the job to Russell/Thompson, which actually performed the framing work. The Labor Commissioner also served a civil wage and penalty assessment against Brown Construction Inc. and 84 Lumber Inc.

“Prime contractors cannot plead ignorance when their subcontractors fail to follow California’s labor law,” said DIR Director John C. Duncan. “The state holds seminars and outreach events to make sure contractors across California are aware of the specific requirements involving public works projects. These requirements are designed to ensure that public money is being spent properly. Our enforcement efforts are intended to help fight California’s underground economy and help compliant businesses compete fairly.”

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Track Key Safety Performance Indicators

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations to easily track safety KPIs and metrics. Gain increased visibility into your business’ operations and safety data.

  • Analyze Incident Data

    Collect relevant incident data, analyze trends, and generate accurate regulatory reports, including OSHA 300, 300A, and 301 logs, through IndustrySafe’s extensive incident reporting and investigation module.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We’ve put together a guide on key safety training topics, requirements for certifications, and answers to common training questions.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - March 2019

    March 2019

    Featuring:

    • HEARING PROTECTION
      Not Your Grandpa's Ear Muffs 
    • FALL PROTECTION
      Far Too Many Fatal Falls
    • DRUG TESTING
      Marijuana in the Workplace
    • FALL PREVENTION
      Ladder Safety Tips
    View This Issue