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News Brief

Court orders SoCal recycling company to pay workers $90K in back overtime wages, damages

Employer: Leo’s Recycling, a Southern California recycling company

Sites: 9306 Cayuga Avenue, Sun Valley
22115 Sierra Highway, Sylmar
12210 Foothill Boulevard, Panorama City
11631 Victory Boulevard Panorama City
9110 Van Nuys Boulevard Panorama City

Investigation findings: Investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found that the company failed to pay employees time-and-one-half for overtime hours, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Specifically, the employer paid workers flat salaries, without regard to how many hours they worked, which created overtime violations when employees worked more than 40 hours in a week. The company also failed to keep time records for employees.

Resolution: The defendants – Leo’s Recycling, Brigida Rios and Gloria Cordova – agreed to pay a combined $90,000 to 21 employees in back wages and damages in a consent judgment entered in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

In addition to paying back wages and damages, the employer further agreed to:

  • Post a portion of the consent judgment describing workers’ legal rights in all of their locations.
  • Provide workers with summary of work hour for each pay period, to include language describing what constitutes compensable work time, and provide them with an opportunity to correct any errors.
  • Host wage and hour training, provided by the department, for all employees.

Quote: “This employer profited off the backs of these low-wage, vulnerable workers who worked long, hard hours, and deserve to be paid every penny they have rightfully and legally earned,” said Susan Seletsky from the department’s Regional Solicitor’s Office. “When employers such as Leo’s Recycling fail to comply, we will use every tool available to us, including litigation, to ensure that the employees are paid their fair wages. We are committed to leveling the playing field for employers who do play by the rules.”

Background:  The department issued a press release in 2015 chronicling the high rates of wage and hour violations in Southern California’s recycling industry.

Information: For more information about federal wage laws administered by the Wage and Hour Division, call the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information also is available at

Read this news release en españól.

Wage and Hour Division
June 7, 2016
Release Number
Media Contact: Leo Kay
Phone Number
Media Contact: Jose Carnevali