The California state labor commissioner is dedicated to ensuring that construction contractors who work on public works projects pay prevailing wages to their employees. Repayment of unpaid wages extends to not just subcontractors, but also the general contractors on a specific project. Recently, the California labor commissioner announced that a $225,000 settlement was successfully negotiated with Bobo Construction Inc.
This settlement stemmed from allegations that a subcontractor underneath Bobo Construction did not pay the required prevailing wages to its workers on a Contra Costa County public workers project. Bobo Construction served as the general contractor on the project in question, which is the reason they were then held partially responsible for the unpaid wages. The settlement that was negotiated with Bobo Construction dated back to wages which were not paid in full back in 2012.
The state Labor Commissioner released a statement indicating that her office considers unpaid wages on all California public works projects to be a form of wage theft. She further stated that contractors who fail to pay full and prevailing wages are not only stealing well-deserved pay from workers, but also violating the public trust that has been placed in them. Bobo Construction accepted responsibility for their part in this instance of unpaid wages due to their position as general contractor. A representative did state that they believed that the subcontractor had lied on their wage reports, however.
Whenever workers are not fairly compensated for the full amount of their wages, they may be able to file a complaint against their employers. Unpaid wages are taken seriously by the California state labor commissioner. Workers have the right to receive their complete and accurate wages, even if that means they need to pursue legal action to make sure they are fairly compensated.
Source: Sacramento Business Journal, "Bobo Construction to pay back wages in settlement," Kathy Robertson, April 26, 2013