Federal investigation recovers $860K in back wages, damages from San Diego drywall contractor that deliberately failed to pay overtime
SAN DIEGO – Amid soaring prices in its residential real estate market – with homes selling for an average of $800,000 – a federal investigation has found a San Diego construction contractor failing to share its prosperity and intentionally failing to pay overtime wages as required to 568 drywall installers, tapers and hangers.
U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigators found New Vision Drywall Inc. – operating as Performance Drywall – paid the workers on a piece-rate basis without regard to the number of hours worked, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The employer violated federal law by denying overtime wages to the employees, who worked up to 58 hours per week.
The investigation led to the recovery of $860,608 in back wages and liquidated damages for the workers. The division also assessed $49,783 in civil penalties against New Vision Drywall Inc. for its reckless disregard for the law.
The case demonstrates that compliance failures by San Diego construction companies continues to be a concern. From 2016 to 2020, division investigators in the region conducted 1,750 investigations – many in the construction industry – and recovered more than $21 million in back wages for more than 15,000 workers.
“Performance Drywall understood overtime wages and the rules for paying it but made a costly choice to recklessly disregard the law. By doing so, this employer hurt their workers and their families by denying them all of their hard-earned wages,” said Wage and Hour District Director Eric Murray in San Diego. “Our message to San Diego’s construction employers is simple: wage theft hurts workers and cheats your competitors. We will not tolerate these violations and their consequences are serious and costly.”
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact its toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.