Over $80K in Fines and Penalties Assessed to Local Bakery for Minimum Wage and Other Work Violations

PASADENA, Calif.—A joint investigation including staff from the City’s Planning & Community Development Department and the California Department of Industrial Relations' (DIR) Bureau of Field Enforcement (BOFE) has resulted in a combined assessment of more than $80,000 in back wages, damages, premiums and interest for minimum wage violations and various California labor code violations at Chapala Bakery located at 265 E. Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena.

Responding to an employee-generated complaint, City staff interviewed several bakery employees and determined that violations of Pasadena’s minimum wage ordinance and California Labor Code had occurred. City representatives held several meetings with the business owner in an effort to resolve the matter locally; however, the proprietor was intransigent and uncooperative leading the City to collaborate with the Department of Industrial Relations’ BOFE investigators and auditors.

Fines, penalties and liquidated damages assessed to the employer for the minimum wage violations and various labor code violations were nearly $81,000. This total includes minimum wage violations, overtime and split shift pay, meal and rest period pay, and liquidated damages due employees. BOFE investigators determined that the business operators must compensate the three employees who joined the complaint $62,987.78 and must pay the state $17,950 in civil penalties for a total of $80,937.78. Staff from the DIR's Judgement Enforcement Unit continue to investigate the proprietor’s various assets in an effort to recover funds for the payment of unpaid wages, penalties and damages.

Enacted by the Pasadena City Council in 2016, the City’s minimum wage will reach $15.00 per hour starting July 1, 2020 for employers with 26 or more employees, and July 1, 2021 for employers with 25 or fewer employees.

Pasadena’s City Council is committed to the investigation and resolution of minimum wage and wage-theft complaints, as well as providing local outreach, education and training to low-wage earners, members of the immigrant community and business owners and operators. The City values its effective partnership with the Department of Industrial Relations in investigating multifaceted complaints of wage and hour violations and will continue to jointly enforce wage and hour violations that are breaches of law and may result in the recovery of wages and the imposition of fines and penalties.

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