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News Brief

San Fernando Valley recycler to pay more than $45K in back wages, damages to four workers following labor investigation

Employer: Odelsi Recycling, a company that purchases recyclable materials such as aluminum, glass
and plastic bottles from individuals in California’s San Fernando Valley.

Location: 11045 Glenoaks Blvd., Pacoima
13426 Osborne St., Arleta

Investigation findings: Investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found that Odelsi Recycling violated the minimum wage, overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Specifically, the employer paid employees’ flat salaries regardless of the number of hours they worked, resulting in minimum wage violations when the salary paid divided by the hours worked failed to cover at least $7.25 per hour. Overtime violations occurred when employees worked more than 40 hours in a week and the employer failed to pay them overtime. Recordkeeping violations resulted from the employer’s failure to record all the hours employees worked, as well as failing to record their rates of pay.

Resolution: Odelsi Recycling agreed to comply and to pay $22,617 in minimum wage and overtime back wages and an equal, additional amount in damages to four employees. 

Quote: “We continue to find widespread violations in Southern California’s recycling industry,” said Kimchi Bui, director of the Wage and Hour Division’s Los Angeles District Office. “This industry employs some of the most vulnerable workers we see. Simply paying workers a salary does not mean that they are not entitled to minimum wage and overtime. We will continue investigating and holding employers accountable as long as we continue to find recyclers shortchanging their employees.”

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

Information: The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt workers be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all hours worked, plus overtime at one and one-half times their regular wages for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers also must maintain accurate time and payroll records. Employers are prohibited from retaliating against workers who exercise their rights under the law.

For more information about federal wage laws administered by the Wage and Hour Division, or to file a complaint, call the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). All services are free and confidential. Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd/.

Read this news release en españól.

Agency
Wage and Hour Division
Date
July 7, 2016
Release Number
16-0763-SAN
Contact: Leo Kay
Phone Number
Contact: Jose Carnevali