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Apr
2013
25

Apprenticeship Requirements Protected in California Case Carrying $200,000 in Back Wages and Fines

Fontana, California-based Icon Metal Works, Inc. has been ordered to pay over $200,000 by California Labor Commissioner Julie Su for prevailing wage and apprenticeship violations that occurred on a public works project at California State University Los Angeles (CSULA). The total includes $129,562 in back wages, $47,575 in prevailing wage fines and $28,700 in apprenticeship fines.

Su’s investigation found that workers on the project were being underpaid by $16 an hour. The company failed to place an adequate number of apprentices on the job, also a violation of public works law:

“Our investigations have been streamlined so that the same investigator can now review public works and apprenticeship requirements after the passage of Senate Bill 1038 last year,” stated Christine Baker, director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR).

The project centered around a new public safety building and Welcome Center on the CSULA campus. The general contractor on the project was USS Cal Builders, who subcontracted Icon Metal Works for the structural steel used on the project. According to the DIR, the general contractor can be held jointly liable for the underpayments. The case is different than some others because it deals with apprenticeship laws while a typical case would revolve strictly around prevailing wages:

This is a new era for public works enforcement at DLSE,” stated Commissioner Su. “Our public works investigators are trained to investigate all aspects of state prevailing wage and apprenticeship law. This will protect workers and law abiding contractors, as well as ensure that apprentices are properly trained and used on public works projects.”

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