FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IR #2010-19
June 23, 2010

CONTACT:
Krisann Chasarik
Erika Monterroza
415-703-5050

Internet: www.dir.ca.gov


California Labor Commissioner Bars Contractor from Working on Public Works Projects

Sacramento, CA – California Labor Commissioner, Angela Bradstreet, today signed a notice barring Sutter Foam & Coating, Inc., of Yuba City, from bidding on or working as a subcontractor on public works projects in California for three years.  The debarment came after the Department of Industrial Relations’ (DIR) Division of Labor Standards Enforcement conducted an investigation of Sutter Foam & Coating and found them in violation of four sections of the Labor Code. 

One of the most egregious violations was failing to pay workers for the last two weeks of work and taking payroll deductions for health insurance coverage, but not applying that money toward a health care plan. The subcontractor also failed to pay prevailing wage rates to employees, did not maintain accurate certified payroll reports and failed to pay travel time.

“We have a duty to hold accountable employers who refuse to play by the rules,” said DIR Director John C. Duncan.  “Public works projects fall under additional regulations designed to ensure that taxpayers’ money is used properly and the work will be performed by highly-trained and skilled employees.  Barring bad contractors from the bidding process helps protect those businesses that are following the law.” 

The investigation found Sutter Foam & Coating was the subcontractor on three public works projects, in Sacramento County:  Cordova Lane and White Rock Elementary Schools Modernization, American River College PE Combo Expansion and in Contra Costa County: Liberty Union High School Classroom Building Project.

“Our investigators found that Sutter Foam & Coating willfully intended to defraud its workers and the state,” said Bradstreet.  “This subcontractor should have known its obligations under the public works law, and it deliberately refused to comply. We cannot tolerate a blatant disregard of California’s Labor Code as it is an abuse of the use of public monies and employees.”

Although given proper notification of the hearing, no one named as a respondent in the case attended. The debarment is set to go into effect July 1, 2010. 

Ten companies and principals have been debarred this year for not following required public works laws. A list of debarments can be found at http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/debar.html

The California Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (Labor Commissioner’s Office) adjudicates wage claims, investigates discrimination and public works complaints, and enforces state labor law and Industrial Welfare Commission wage orders. To learn more about the functions of the California Labor Commissioner, visit our web site at www.dir.ca.gov/dlse. Employees with work-related questions or complaints, including heat illness, may call the California Workers’ Information Hotline at (866) 924-9757.

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