Calif. labor commissioner finds more than $1.5 million in wage theft from caregivers

FRESNO, Calif., -- California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su has issued citations totaling more than $1.6 million to the Bedford Care Group, Inc., an assisted living provider located in Fresno.  The Labor Commissioner cited the Bedford Care Group for labor law violations including unpaid minimum wage and overtime, meal and rest break violations, as well as the failure to issue itemized wage statements. 

"Workers across all industries in the state should know that they are entitled to pay for all work performed and any employer who pockets the wages of their own workers will be held accountable," said Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR).  The Labor Commissioner's Office is a division within DIR. 

The Labor Commissioner ordered the Bedford Care Group to pay $1,398,890 in unpaid overtime, $17,025 in unpaid minimum wage, and $95,053 in meal and rest period premiums to eleven workers employed at six of the Bedford Care Group facilities in Fresno and Clovis. The Bedford Care Group, Inc. was also fined $114,500 in penalties. 

"Residential caregivers perform some of the most important work in our communities, providing reliable, compassionate care to those who need it, but they can work very long hours without proper overtime pay," said Labor Commissioner Su.  "These live-in employees were on call and often required to work 24 hours a day and were not paid for all hours worked.  This is wage theft, and we will do everything in our power to ensure workers are paid all the wages they have earned."

The citations were issued after the Labor Commissioner's Office interviewed and completed an audit for the eleven caregivers, spanning from November 2011 to April 2013 to determine the amount of unpaid wages owed.  The Bedford Care Group owns and operates six assisted living facilities within Fresno County. 

"My office received invaluable assistance from two community-based organizations, the Asian Law Caucus and the Filipino Advocates for Justice, who assisted the workers in coming forward," continued Labor Commissioner Su. 

The Labor Commissioner's office, also known as the California Department of Industrial Relations' Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, adjudicates wage claims, investigates discrimination and public works complaints and enforces state labor law.

 

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