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Regulators in California have filed a $6.3 million lawsuit against a construction firm over multiple wage theft violations including misclassification, which affected workers compensation protection for hundreds of workers, the California Labor Commissioner’s Office announced Monday.
The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, pertains to a group of 249 construction workers and the willful misclassification of 175 workers as independent contractors by Glendale, California-based Calcrete Construction Inc., according to a statement.
An investigation found that Calcrete forced its workers in 2016 under threat of termination to sign contracts stating they were independent contractors. The company then used staffing agencies to pay the workers, which affected workers comp.
“It is illegal for employers to use subcontractors to distance themselves from the obligation to pay workers, and we will use every tool to dissuade employers from this scheme,” said Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su in a statement. “This lawsuit aims to recover the money these misclassified workers should have been paid after years of wage theft.”
When a worker is misclassified as an independent contractor, they are not protected by minimum wage, overtime and retaliation laws and are not guaranteed workers comp coverage if injured on the job.
A man who answered the phone at Calcrete on Tuesday said was unaware of a lawsuit.
(Reuters) — The New York attorney general's office on Tuesday sued Domino's Pizza Inc., claiming it is liable for wage theft by franchisees because the company used a computer system that it knew under-calculated workers' pay.