Julie A. Su, California Labor Commissioner, issued a series of California labor code citations totaling more than $1 million against Quetico LLC.
According to a release from PR Newswire (1/28/13), Quetico used only 3 time clocks in their entire complex servicing more than 800 employees. Employees had to wait in long lines to clock in and out. In order to avoid being penalized for reporting for work late, due to the lineups at the time clock(s), employees were forced to arrive at the work-site increasingly early, in order to accommodate the long lineups to punch-in, so they would avoid reporting for work late.
The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement investigation, noted that employees coming into work early on a consistent basis just to deal with the long lineups at the time clock, were not be compensated for those extra hours. Also, according to California labor employment law guidelines, employees were allotted a 30-minute meal period each shift. However, they were also required to punch out at the beginning of their meal period, and punch back in upon its conclusion. Consequently, to avoid clocking-in to work late, at the end of their breaks, employees would have to cut their meal breaks short.
The Department of Industrial Relations, (DIR) alleges that Quetico altered employee records to suggest employees were given the full benefit of their allotted 30 minute meal period, when in fact the employees had not.
The same held true at day’s end, when delays at the time clock would force workers to be at work beyond quitting time, waiting to clock-out. Three employees, who filed complaints with the Office of the Labor Commissioner, were suspended from their jobs.
“Wage theft takes many forms,” said Labor Commissioner Su in a statement. “My office will crack down on any employer who is taking hard-earned wages from workers by falsifying time cards and systematically preventing employees from taking a full meal break. We are also intent on eliminating the competitive advantages that labor law violators gain over employers who play by the rules.”
If you have a wage-an-hour or unpaid overtime dispute, please give my office, The Law Office of Todd M. Friedman a call today at (877) 449-8898 for a free case evaluation.