California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su, Bakersfield has submitted a lawsuit for filing with the Fresno Superior Court against farm labor contracting company, Javier Diaz, dba Diaz Contracting for multiple violations, including failure to provide minimum wage and overtime to employees. The lawsuit seeks in excess of $634,800 in unpaid wages, penalties and damages affecting 129 workers.
The lawsuit stems from on-going investigations conducted by the California Department of Industrial Relations' (DIR) Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) (Labor Commissioner's Office) which revealed evidence which establishes that Javier Diaz, dba Diaz Contracting willfully violated the law by failing to pay proper wages and overtime to its employees. The Diaz lawsuit will be prosecuted by the attorneys for the Labor Commissioner.
"This lawsuit demonstrates the Labor Commissioner's commitment to ensuring that all workers in this state are protected by the wage floor," says DIR Director Christine Baker. "Whether it is in agriculture or any other industry where wage violations occur, we will enforce the law."
"Low wage workers are particularly vulnerable and the mobile nature of the work in industries such as agriculture often poses challenges to enforcement," says Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su. "This lawsuit is an example of our commitment to conducting in-depth, meaningful inspections. It also sends a message that when workers come forward to tell us about illegal working conditions, we will take action to protect them."
The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief to stop Diaz Contracting from engaging in any future violations of the law.
"Our intent is to level the playing field so that violators gaining a competitive advantage over law-abiding employers are held accountable," continues Labor Commissioner Su. "California's agriculture industry is a critical and valued part of the state's economy. The farmworkers on whom the industry relies must be treated with the respect and dignity they deserve."
The California Department of Industrial Relations' Division of Labor Standards Enforcement adjudicates wage claims, investigates discrimination and public works complaints, and enforces state labor laws. DIR has additional information on overtime, other labor laws and work related topics at www.dir.ca.gov.
Employees with work-related questions or complaints can also call the California Workers' Information Line at 1-866-924-9757 for recorded information on a variety of work related topics.