Two towing companies in California have been cited for wage and hour violations by the California Labor Commissioner’s Office. The two towing companies are owned and operated by a father and son team Noel Yaco and Aram Yaco.
Irvine Auto Towing Inc. dba Pride Towing and Recovery in Anaheim, California, and Yaco Investments Inc. dba Stride Towing and Recovery in Oakland, California, were the named companies accused of wage and hour violations by a former worker.
Following the accusations, an investigation was launched last December by the Labor Commissioner’s Office which found that the employees of the two companies worked 12-hour shifts and were not provided appropriate meal or rest breaks. Some workers maintained the schedule for seven days per week, with Pride Towing paying workers $110 per day, causing wages to be seriously underpaid.
As a result, the citations issued by the Labor Commissioner totaled $4,874,661 for the wage and hour violations that affected a total of 187 employees working for the companies as dispatchers, mechanics and tow truck drivers.
At Stride Towing, workers were not paid for all overtime hours worked. Additionally, mechanics and drivers with the company were also subject to unlawful deductions and were charged for the uniforms they were required to wear as well as any damages or accidents that resulted during the course of their work.
Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su issued a statement regarding the wage and hour violations, saying “This is an egregious case of wage theft affecting a large group of workers who are denied a just day’s pay and forced to work without meal or rest breaks. My office enforces California’s labor laws to employers from cheating workers as a means to gain an unfair advantage over their law-abiding competitors.”
The citations issued to the companies included wage and hour violations of unpaid overtime, minimum wage violations and rest period and meal break violations. A total of 129 workers at Pride Towing and 58 workers at Stride Towing were the targets of these wage and hour violations.
The citations that were issued included waiting time penalties, liquidated damages and itemized wage statement violations.
If an employer fails to provide a worker his or her final paycheck after separation from the company, waiting time penalties are imposed. the amount of these penalties is calculated by an employee’s daily rate of pay multiplied by the number of days, up to a maximum of 30 days that the employee did not receive payment. Liquidated damages include the amount of underpaid wages and employee is entitled to, along with interest.
The Labor Commissioner’s Office is officially named the Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Labor Standards Enforcement in the state of California. The department is responsible for conducting inspections of workplaces that may be engaging in wage and hour violations, among other duties including educating the public on labor laws.
Has Your Employer Engaged in Wage and Hour Violations?
If you believe your current or former employer has engaged in wage and hour violations, you may be eligible to file a wage and hour lawsuit to recover damages related to such violations. Wage and hour violations may include employee misclassification as an independent contractor, failing to pay at least minimum wage, denying meal and rest breaks, not paying overtime and more.
The wage and hour attorneys with Bradley/Grombacher can assist you by providing a no-cost, no-obligation case review and consultation to discuss the specifics of your case and to help you decide if you qualify to pursue a wage and hour violations lawsuit. Fill out the form on this page for a free case evaluation.