$600,000 Fine Issued to Calif. Warehouse Firm for Improper Wage Statements

"We hope this citation sends a message to all employers in California that when the failure to keep and provide records as required by law is part of a concerted effort to deny workers their hard-earned wages, we will not tolerate it,” said California Labor Commissioner Julie Su.

California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su recently issued additional citations totaling more than $600,000 to Premier Warehousing Ventures LLC for violations discovered during an Oct. 12, 2011, inspection of Schneider Logistics.

The citation was issued for Premier Warehousing’s alleged failure to provide employees proper wage statements. California Labor Code 226 requires that employers furnish an accurate itemized statement with employees’ paychecks that includes detail on the total hours worked, hourly pay, piece rates if piece rate pay is utilized, deductions, and other wage information.

The labor commissioner also cited Premier Warehousing for failure to keep payroll records in California, a requirement under state law.

"We hope this citation sends a message to all employers in California that when the failure to keep and provide records as required by law is part of a concerted effort to deny workers their hard-earned wages, we will not tolerate it,” Su said.

Failure to provide itemized wage statements to workers makes up $601,000 of the total citations issued. The failure to keep records at the place of employment or at another location in California was only calculated for one pay period, resulting in $15,250 in fines.

“California laws provide the basic level of protections for workers and employers have a responsibility to comply with these minimum standards,” said Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) Acting Director Christine Baker. “Employers will be held accountable for violations of the law that unfairly deprive workers of their rights and that create an unfair competitive advantage over law abiding employers.”

At the original inspection on Oct. 12, Premier Warehousing was issued a Notice to Discontinue reporting time violations and other violations. A $499,000 citation was also issued to another employer, Impact Logistics Inc., that employed warehouse workers at Schneider Logistics. Both Premier Warehousing and Impact Logistics utilized a piece-rate system for paying workers, DIR said.

“It is the strong public policy of this state that workers are entitled to know what they have earned,” Su said. “Information is power, and when it comes to wages, that information must be transparent and shared. When an employer chooses to pay by the piece, this is even more critical. Employers cannot simply make up a piece rate and change it at their whim.”

Investigations of other violations, including failure to pay for reporting time and stand-by time, illegal deductions of the workers' pay, as well as the relationship between Schneider Logistics and the two agencies that have already been cited, are ongoing.

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