SAN FRANCISCO—Following an investigation by investigators at the California Labor Commissioner’s Office, a Daly City senior care facility has been cited for multiple wage theft violations affecting 48 workers. The workers are owed more than $639,000 for underpaid minimum wage, overtime and contract wages as well as other penalties.
“Investigators at the Labor Commissioner’s Office are heroes to the men and women who show up for work and perform their duties and are not paid accordingly,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona.
The Labor Commissioner’s Office opened an investigation at Amore Retirement Living last June after receiving a complaint that the employer did not have workers’ compensation insurance. Investigators found that the 53-bed facility lacked coverage for the previous five years and uncovered many other labor law violations.
“This residential care facility required its workers to be available around the clock but didn’t pay them a just day’s wages,” said California Labor Secretary Julie A. Su. “In industries where employees are expected to work overtime or on call, California law requires that they be paid for all hours worked. Anything less is wage theft.”
Investigators discovered that over a 28-month period ending in October 2017, Amore Retirement Living did not provide overtime or meal periods for their employees who worked an average of 58 hours a week. An audit of payroll and time records also showed that 29 employees worked split-shifts without being paid the one-hour premium required in order to provide around-the-clock care to the residents.
The citations against Amore Retirement Living, which total $708,521 including civil penalties, name both the care home’s licensee Krysella Trismeo Corporation and its chief executive officer, Sheryll Miranda-Sunga, as jointly liable for the wage theft. The investigation determined that the employer owes workers $623,871 in unpaid minimum wages and overtime, liquidated damages, meal period and wage statement violations, split shift premiums and waiting time penalties, with an additional $7,766 for contract wages due for 40 of the workers. The citations also include $84,650 in civil penalties due to the state for minimum wage, overtime, split shift premium, meal period and itemized wage statement violations.
Krysella Trismeo Corporation was cited $469,103 on June 20, 2018 for failure to obtain and maintain workers’ compensation insurance coverage.
Enforcement investigations typically include a payroll audit of the previous three years to determine minimum wage, overtime and other labor law violations, and calculate payments owed and penalties due. Civil penalties collected are transferred to the State’s General Fund as required by law.
When workers are paid less than minimum wage, they are entitled to liquidated damages that equal the amount of underpaid wages plus interest. Waiting time penalties are imposed when the employer intentionally fails to pay all wages due to the employee at the time of separation. This penalty is calculated by taking the employee’s daily rate of pay and multiplying it by the number of days the employee was not paid, up to a maximum of 30 days.