Employee rights violations: Wage thefts spawn $8.3M in penalties


The office of the California Labor Commissioner spent about eight months investigating a group of fitness centers for wage theft. This followed allegations that certain employee rights were violated. The investigation was recently concluded, and the outcome published. It was determined that the company committed labor law infringements of over $8.3 million.

A media release stated that unpaid wages were due to more than 550 employees that worked in 15 bootcamps across Southern California. The victims were across all divisions, including facility managers, trainers and their assistants and receptionists. Investigators determined that trainers were not paid per hour but rather per class, and this did not cover the prepping before classes, and the clearing up afterward. Moreover, trainers often traveled between locations without compensation — sometimes the other centers were more than an hour’s drive away.

Furthermore, investigators say staff members were issued separate paychecks for working at different locations to avoid accumulated hours on one paycheck and having to pay overtime. Some trainers got up to six paychecks. There were also violations of meal-break and rest-period rules, and staff had to attend mandatory meetings without remuneration for those hours. More than $190,000 of the penalties cover the failure to provide wage statements that were itemized.

The penalty that this company must pay covers the period between Aug. 2014 and Aug. 2017. California workers whose employee rights are being violated have options for legal recourse. Unfortunately, sometimes the fear of being dismissed prevents people from reporting such violations, but help is available through experienced legal counsel.

Source: clubindustry.com, “California Chain Camp Bootcamp Cited with $8.3 Million in ‘Wage Theft’“, Anthony Dominic, March 20, 2018

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