California Labor Commissioner Cites Inland Empire Warehouse and Retailer Nearly $1.4 Million for Wage Theft Violations
Riverside—The Labor Commissioner’s Office has cited La Mina De Oro, Inc., and six other businesses $1,393,909 for wage theft violations affecting 107 workers. The Norco-based businesses operated a designer fragrance distribution warehouse and numerous retail stores in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, with locations in the Los Angeles area and Orange County.
“Workers had to endure demanding working conditions without meal and rest break periods, and were required to work overtime off the clock,” said Labor Commissioner Lilia García-Brower.
The following businesses and individuals are named in the wage theft citations:
- La Mina De Oro, Inc., a California Corporation
- KD Nutley Properties, LLC, a California Limited Liability Company
- CGC Trading Inc., a California Corporation
- KD Distributors, Inc., a California Corporation
- Desire Fragrances Inc., a California Corporation
- Designer Fragrance Warehouse, a California Corporation
- Desiree Canlas Nutley, an Individual.
The Labor Commissioner’s Office opened an investigation into the retailer’s operation in June 2018 based on a referral from the Warehouse Worker Resource Center (WWRC), a nonprofit worker-rights community based organization in Ontario. The investigation showed that workers at the retailer’s stores were working off the clock before and after their shifts to receive merchandise from the retailer’s distribution warehouse. They were also forced to work through their meal and rest break periods, particularly during peak holiday seasons.
“Workers in the warehouse industry who experience wage theft should report it to the Labor Commissioner’s Office,” added García-Brower. “My office will work to hold the employer accountable, ensure workers get their owed wages, and prevent law-abiding employers from being undercut.”
The citations issued included $126,274 in minimum wages, $102,622 in overtime wages, $188,596 in meal period premiums, $116,113 in rest period premiums, $185,831 in waiting time penalties, $24,563 in contract wages, $160,442in liquidated damages, and $204,350 in damages to workers. The citations also include $162,750 in penalties payable to the state, $88,200 in civil penalties and $34,168 in interest.
When workers are paid less than minimum wage, they are entitled to liquidated damages that equal the amount of underpaid minimum 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.
Enforcement investigations typically include a payroll audit of the previous three years to determine minimum wage, overtime and other labor law violations, and to calculate payments owed and penalties due. Civil penalties collected are transferred to the State’s General Fund as required by law.
The Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, or the California Labor Commissioner’s Office, combats wage theft and unfair competition by investigating allegations of illegal and unfair business practices.
The Labor Commissioner’s Office in 2020 launched an interdisciplinary outreach campaign, “Reaching Every Californian.” The campaign amplifies basic protections and builds pathways to impacted populations so that workers and employers understand legal protections and obligations, and the Labor Commissioner’s enforcement procedures. Californians can follow the Labor Commissioner on Facebook and Twitter.
Contact: Paola Laverde / Peter Melton, Communications@dir.ca.gov, (510) 286-1161