News Release

US Department of Labor recovers $72K in back wages, damages after an investigation finds California construction employer underpaid its workers

Covello Plastering Corp. failed to pay employees for required off-the-clock work

HIDDEN HILLS, CA – A Southern California construction company has paid $72,342 in back wages and liquidated damages to 12 workers after the U.S. Department of Labor found the employer failed to pay them overtime wages as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act. The department also assessed $8,460 in penalties for the employer’s willful violations.

Investigators with the department’s Wage and Hour Division found Covello Plastering Corp. underpaid their workers by failing to track and pay for work it required before and after their scheduled shifts. The employer violated the FLSA’s overtime requirement by not paying required overtime rates for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. The agency also cited the employer for failing to maintain accurate employee records.

“One hour worked should be one hour paid. It’s unjust and illegal to ask residential construction workers to do the hard work of building our homes and then deny them the wages they need to support themselves and their families,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Kimchi Bui in Los Angeles. “Too often, we find employers requesting additional work from employees without providing the requisite additional pay.”

This latest investigation is part of the division’s Cross Regional Initiative addressing wage violations in the construction industry. Since 2019, the division has conducted 421 investigations in this industry in California, and recovered more than $6 million in unpaid wages for more than 4,000 workers.

The Wage and Hour Division enforces the law regardless of a worker’s immigration status, and can speak confidentially with callers in more than 200 languages.

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.

Wage and Hour Division
January 5, 2022
Release Number
Media Contact: Michael Petersen
Media Contact: Jose Carnevali
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