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Eight. Million. More. CA Labor Commissioner Collects Another Big BackPayDay for Spurned Workers

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2,051 workers who helped build San Diego’s Bayfront Hotel will be getting $8,072,273 in back pay. California Labor Commissioner Julie Su and the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement have determined they should have been paid prevailing wages.  

The determining factor was that the Port of San Diego provided over $46 million in tax credits for the development meaning it was a public works project.  The affected workers were employed by prime contractor Hensel Phelps Construction Company and 172 subcontractors. Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations, said, “the Labor Commissioner’s office has made a commitment to enforcing public works laws so that workers and legitimate businesses can thrive.”

Hensel Phelps will also be ordered to pay $400,000 to reimburse the Labor Commission for their investigative costs.  

The case had gone back and forth in the California courts:

The San Diego Superior Court issued a writ of mandate on February 3, 2010 reversing the determination of the Director and finding the project was not a public work.  The California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District, Division One reversed the trial court and affirmed the decision of the Director on July 26, 2011.

Each time Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su levies a wage settlement, she affirms her department’s goals of squashing wage theft and protecting the prevailing wage:

This office will vigorously enforce prevailing wage law to collect all of the wages owed to workers. Prevailing wage laws help ensure that public dollars are used to fund quality construction and good jobs that can support families in California.”


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