SAN DIEGO - On March 20 2015, California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Sue announced that Cookies con Amore, a wholesale bakery in Vista, was cited more than $185,000 for wage theft violations, including denying overtime pay, rest breaks and meal periods to 73 of its workers. In addition, the company is accused of forcing some of its workers to sign a statement agreeing to the wage theft violations in order to keep their jobs.
“California workers deserve to be paid fairly and fully for their labor, and employers who deny them their wages and benefits will be held accountable,” said Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR).
DIR investigators interviewed employees and conducted an audit that revealed multiple violations of minimum wage, rest and meal period laws, and overtime premiums between October 2013 and December 2014. Employees worked shifts of 10 hours or longer, but were paid at the straight time rate without overtime compensation. They were allowed only one 30-minute daily break with no other rest and second meal periods.
"DIR investigators are heroes to the hard-working employee-victims who were not being paid according to law," said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. "Through the investigators' work and the work of Commissioner Su, the employees at this bakery will receive money owed to them in overtime wages and rest and meal periods. Every worker deserves a fair wage and safe working conditions."
Cookies con Amore was assessed $120,665 including $51,444 in overtime wages, and $69,221 in rest and meal time periods which will be paid to the affected workers, and an additional $63,800 in civil penalties. The investigation was prompted after the Labor Commissioner received complaints.
Employees with work-related questions or complaints may call the toll-free California Workers’ Information Line at (866) 924-9757 for recorded information in Spanish and English.