California News in Brief

$450,000 wage settlement reached with residential care business. The California Labor Commissioner's Office announced on September 17 that it had reached a settlement to recover more than $450,000 in wages, penalties, and interest for 15 residential care workers who suffered overtime and other wage theft violations. L'Chaim House agreed to make the payments after the state sued to block the San Rafael-based residential care business from transferring ownership of its real estate to evade penalties. A lien against the real estate will ensure the payments are made.

An investigation was opened in December 2015 after workers at L'Chaim House's two locations reported labor law violations. Investigators audited 36 months of the employer's payroll records and found caregivers frequently worked more than 12 hours a day without receiving overtime pay.

Garment contractors cited more than $570,000 for registration, labor law violations. The California Labor Commissioner's Office announced on September 5 that it had cited six garment contractors $573,704 for various labor law violations, including a scheme in which the contractors illegally operated under one license to avoid compliance. Investigators visited the worksite, operating under the name Pure Cotton, Inc., in a downtown Los Angeles building. According to the labor commissioner, four of the contractors didn't have valid workers' compensation coverage for their employees. Investigators found that most of the 57 employees at the building worked up to 65 hours a week for less than minimum wage. In addition, two minors who were 15 and 16 years old were operating industrial sewing machines in violation of California's child labor laws.

Cal/OSHA issues citations in fatal waste collection truck accident. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) announced on September 20 that it had issued citations to GreenWaste Recovery Inc. after a waste collection worker was fatally run over by his own truck in San Jose. An investigation found that the employer failed to ensure the truck's safety restraint was in working order and didn't ensure it was being used by workers when they drove from the right side of the truck.

On March 2, a GreenWaste worker gathering recyclables fell out of his truck and was run over as he was making a turn while operating the truck from the right side. Cal/OSHA's inspection determined that the safety chain for the truck cab opening couldn't be used because a part was missing. GreenWaste was issued two general and two serious accident-related citations totaling $46,270 in proposed penalties.