California Labor Commissioner’s Citations of $8.5 Million Issued to Owner of Six Residential Care Facilities Upheld
Los Angeles— A hearing officer has upheld the Labor Commissioner’s wage theft citations issued to Adat Shalom Board & Care, Inc. and owner Angelica Reingold in 2018. The citations were to compensate 148 workers who cared for elderly residents 24 hours a day, six day a week, yet were only paid for six hours each day. Reingold, who owns six facilities in Los Angeles, appealed the citations and after a 17-day hearing, the unpaid wages and penalties were upheld with some modifications. Adat Shalom Board & Care, Inc. owes more than $8.5 million for the violations, with $8,356,018 payable to the workers in unpaid wages, overtime, meal period pay, liquidated damages and interest.
“This decision affirms that the wage theft violations were systemic and egregious,” said California Labor Commissioner Lilia García-Brower. “These workers provided a valuable service to the residents in the face of long hours and challenging conditions. They must be properly paid for their labor.”
The Labor Commissioner’s Office opened the initial investigation after receiving a report of labor law violations from the Pilipino Workers Center.
During the hearing, 13 former live-in caregivers testified about their work schedules, duties and wages. Throughout the day and night, they monitored and cared for elderly residents and hospice patients, many of them suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia. The caregivers were paid fixed amounts ranging from $1,500 to $1,800 per month.
In a September 30 decision, the hearing officer upheld the citations with modifications to decrease the amount of minimum wage owed and increase the amount owed in overtime and meal period premiums. As three years have passed since the citations were first issued, prejudgment interest has also been added to the citations, as required by statute, for a total of $8,356,018 payable to workers in unpaid wages and damages:
- $1,623,384 for minimum wages owed to 148 workers
- $2,540,675 in liquidated damages (as of September 30, 2021)
- $1,939,112 for overtime pay
- $152,441 for meal period premium pay
- $2,100,405 in prejudgment interest (as of September 30, 2021)
An additional $77,600 in civil penalties were assessed for the minimum wage, overtime and meal period violations with another $97,000 for itemized wage statement violations, for a total of $8,530.618. Adat Shalom Board & Care, Inc., and Reingold, as CEO and sole corporate officer, are jointly responsible for the full amount of wages and damages owed to the workers. Prejudgment interest is continuing to accrue at a rate of $1,018 per day while interest on the liquidated damages is accruing at a rate of $442.83 per day.
The defendants have 45 days from the decision to file an appeal. To appeal, defendants must post a bond equal to the total amount of minimum wages, liquidated damages and overtime due and owing. In this case, the total bond would equal $6,103,171.
When workers are paid less than minimum wage, they are entitled to liquidated damages that equal the amount of underpaid minimum wages plus interest.
Enforcement investigations typically include a payroll audit of the previous three years to determine minimum wage, overtime and other labor law violations, and to calculate payments owed and penalties due where violations are found. Civil penalties collected are transferred to the State’s General Fund as required by law.
The Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (California Labor Commissioner’s Office) combats wage theft and unfair competition by investigating allegations of illegal and unfair business practices.
The Labor Commissioner’s Office in 2020 launched an interdisciplinary outreach campaign, “Reaching Every Californian.” The campaign amplifies basic protections and builds pathways to impacted populations so workers and employers understand legal protections and obligations, and the Labor Commissioner’s enforcement procedures. Californians can follow the Labor Commissioner on Facebook and Twitter.
Contact: Communications@dir.ca.gov, (510) 286-1161