The state Labor Commissioner’s office has fined the former owners of a now-shuttered San Gabriel Valley construction subcontractor for nearly $12 million in wage theft violations.
RDV Construction Inc., which at various times has had headquarters in Arcadia and City of Industry, hired crews to provide framing, drywall and other trade work for hotels, apartments and mixed-use buildings around the Los Angeles area.
According to office of state Labor Secretary Julie Su, over a 21-month period, the company paid roughly 1,100 employees with checks that did not clear due to insufficient funds. After the checks bounced, RDV Construction failed to pay all wages due to the workers.
The former owners were listed in the announcement from the Labor Commissioner’s office as Rafael Rivas, Juan Rivas and Nicolas Del Villar, with spokesman Frank Polizzi saying Rafael Rivas was the main contact the office had been dealing with.
“Dodging labor laws and stealing wages hurts workers and creates unfair conditions for law-abiding employers,” Su said in a statement. “After a hard day’s work, the last thing a construction worker should have to face is a paycheck that bounces. Stealing earned wages from workers’ pockets is illegal in California.”
A phone number for RDV Construction Inc. was answered by a representative citing a company called RVR General Construction, which is listed as headquartered in Fontana. This representative said the RDV Construction went out of business two years ago. She said Rafael Rivas had left for the day and that he was instructed through his attorney not to comment on the allegations surrounding RDV Construction Inc.
According to the announcement from the Labor Commissioner’s office, some of the affected workers initially approached the Carpenters Contractors Cooperation Committee, a non-profit labor-management organization, about the alleged violations, which then informed the Labor Commissioner’s office.
The citations issued by the Labor Commissioner’s office totaled $11.94 million in unpaid wages and premiums including:
• $5.4 million in waiting time penalties for failing to timely pay 1,089 employees;
• $1.8 million for failing to provide proper rest breaks to 1,125 employees;
• $1.7 million in liquidated damages for those minimum wage violations;
• $1.6 million for minimum wage violations affecting 844 employees; and
• $566,897 for failing to properly pay 1,111 workers overtime
Education, energy, engineering/construction and infrastructure reporter Howard Fine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @howardafine.