IR #2012-45
November 6, 2012

Erika Monterroza
Peter Melton
(510) 286-1161

Twitter @CA_DIR

California Labor Commissioner assesses contractor over $1 million in penalties for public works violations

Stockton, CA—California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su has ordered Nicodemus Plumbing & Mechanical to pay $858,840.20 in wages and $230,050 in fines for labor law violations committed on a San Joaquin Delta Community College public works project in Stockton. The Labor Commissioner issued a civil wage and penalty assessment last week in an effort to collect the money owed to the workers.

The Cypress-based plumbing contractor failed to pay 44 employees the proper wage for their work on the Cunningham Math and Science Project at San Joaquin Delta Community College in Stockton.

“It is imperative in these times that enforcement action is taken to fight against California’s underground economy and provide a fair and level playing field for businesses who comply with our laws," said DIR Director Christine Baker.

An investigation by the California Department of Industrial Relations’ (DIR) Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), also known as the Labor Commissioner's office, uncovered evidence that Nicodemus Plumbing willfully violated the law by failing to pay proper prevailing wages on the public works project. Nicodemus Plumbing also failed to pay overtime and intentionally falsified certified payroll records by shaving the number of hours actually worked by its workers. 

“Wage theft will not be tolerated,” said Commissioner Su. “Falsifying records to underreport the number of hours worked is stealing money from workers and my office will take swift and aggressive action to end this illegal and abusive practice.” 

San Joaquin Delta Community College hired Taisei Construction Corporation as the general contractor, who in turn contracted with Nicodemus Plumbing to perform the plumbing work for this project.  The Labor Commissioner also served a civil wage and penalty assessment against Taisei Construction Corporation.

“Prime contractors can be held jointly responsible when their subcontractors fail to follow California’s labor law,” added Commissioner Su. "We will investigate all parties responsible for labor law violations to put the proper incentive on decision-makers in construction projects to deal only with honest, law-abiding contractors."

The California Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Labor Standards Enforcement adjudicates wage claims, investigates discrimination and public works complaints and enforces state labor law. Additional information on labor laws and work-related topics are available on our Web site, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
Employees with work-related questions or complaints may call the California Workers’ Information Hotline at (866) 924-9757 for recorded information on a variety of work related topics.

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