U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in San Francisco Bay Area Construction Contractor Paying $250,000 Owed to 22 Employees
SAN JOSE, CA – Full Power Properties LLC – prime contractor and employer for the 650-unit, high-rise Silvery Towers project in San Jose, California – has paid $250,000 to 22 employees to resolve violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) found during a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigation.
WHD investigators determined that Full Power Properties LLC benefited from the work done by employees supplied by Job Torres, an unlicensed subcontractor doing business as Nobilis Construction.
Investigators found a number of the employees forced to work without pay on large Bay Area construction projects, including the Silvery Towers development. When not working, they lived in captivity in squalid conditions in a warehouse controlled by Torres.
On Aug. 29, 2017, federal agents freed the workers as they executed search and arrest warrants at multiple locations as part of an ongoing forced-labor and human-trafficking investigation. Agents arrested Torres, and placed him in custody. Following the arrests, agents contacted WHD to determine if FLSA violations existed.
"The U.S. Department of Labor will do everything in its power to stop employers who violate the law from gaining an unfair competitive advantage over those who play by the rules," said Wage and Hour Division District Director Susana Blanco, in San Francisco. "This case also represents a major victory in the fight against the scourge of human-trafficking."
Employees and employers with questions about the FLSA or any of the federal wage laws administered by the Division should call the agency's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). All calls are confidential. More information is available online at https://www.dol.gov/whd/.