San Diego — California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su launched an investigation of a Calexico-based warehouse that ended with the employer paying $88,109 in overtime wages owed to 60 current employees and an additional $33,613 to 83 former employees. The furniture distributor, Coppel Corporation, initiated its own audit after Su’s staff launched an investigation into wage theft violations.

“We appreciate the employer for responsibly working with our investigators to bring a speedy resolution for these workers,” said Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). The Labor Commissioner’s Office, also known as the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), is a division within the DIR.

The investigation was initiated by a complaint filed with DLSE’s Bureau of Field Enforcement (BOFE) and included a review of payroll and employee time cards. The inspection revealed that employees had worked two to three overtime hours per week but were paid regular wages instead of the overtime pay rate. The employer hired a San Francisco-based law firm and agreed to conduct a self-audit. The self-audit determined the overtime wages owed and included regular communication between the employer and BOFE investigators.

“This is an example of how effective labor law enforcement benefits everyone," said Labor Commissioner Su. "We encourage employers to cooperate during investigations, come into compliance, and make workers whole."

Among its wide-ranging enforcement responsibilities, the Labor Commissioner’s office inspects workplaces for wage and hour violations, adjudicates wage claims, enforces prevailing wage rates and apprenticeship standards in public works projects, investigates retaliation complaints, issues licenses and registrations for businesses and educates the public on labor laws.

The most recent information related to California labor laws is available on the DLSE website as well as on Facebook and Twitter pages. Employees with work-related questions or complaints may call the toll-free California Workers’ Information Line at (866) 924-9757 for recorded information, in English and Spanish.

Source: California Department of Industrial Relations

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