by Margot Roosevelt
Salinas Inc., a Santa Ana construction company, was assessed $342,856, in back wages and damages for failing to pay overtime to 22 workers over two years, the U.S. Department of Labor announced Monday.
Salinas’ carpet installers, painters, janitors and plumbers worked as much as 70 hours per week without earning the requisite time-and-a half for weekly hours exceeding 40, the department found.
“When employers disregard employees’ rights to legally-required overtime pay, they not only harm workers and their families, but they also put law-abiding employers at a competitive disadvantage,” Rodolfo Cortez, director of the Wage and Hour Division’s San Diego District Office, said in a statement released to the media.
“Other employers should take note of this investigation, and ensure that they are in compliance with the law,” he added. “We are committed to ensuring that workers receive every penny they have rightfully earned.”
Yovani Salinas, the company owner, said in a telephone interview that he disagreed with the decision, “but I can do nothing.” He said he paid his workers a straight salary rather than by the hour. He added that the most they worked was 45 hours a week, and on some occasions less than 40.
According to the labor department, the company used time cards for office staff, but kept no records for field staff, as required under federal law.
Read the full article from The Orange County Register.