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The Real Deal Los Angeles

City of Industry contractor ordered to pay $12M for bilking workers out of pay

State says RDV Construction didn't pay workers on 35 LA projects
February 12, 2019 11:00AM

California Labor Secretary Julie A. Su and the Kenmore, a project that RDV failed to pay wages on (Credit: Google Maps)

California officials have ordered a City of Industry contractor to pay nearly $12 million in back wages and penalties to more than 1,000 employees who were cheated out of pay.

RDV Construction, a framing and drywall contractor, withheld worker pay at 35 construction sites across the Los Angeles area between 2014 and 2017, according to a citation from the Labor Commissioner’s Office. The citation is the largest wage-theft case ever brought against a private company, according to the L.A. Times.

Some of the projects on which RDV was accused of bilking workers include Canfield Development’s Kenmore project in Koreatown and Korda Group’s Mansfield project on Wilshire Boulevard.

The state did not say that the developers of any project that RDV worked on had any knowledge of the misconduct. RDV has appealed the state’s decision.

The state, which started its investigation in January 2017, found that RDV crews worked nine hours a day without proper breaks or overtime, then habitually were denied 10 to 25 percent of their wages. Often the company paid workers with checks that wouldn’t clear.

A large chunk of the $12 million payout — $5.4 million — is for failing to pay employees in a timely manner. There was also $1.6 million in minimum wage violations, $1.7 million for failing to provide breaks, and half a million dollars in lost overtime pay.

The violations took place before a state law passed in January 2018 that holds contractors liable for state violations by subcontractors, according to the Times. [LAT]Dennis Lynch