SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office has resolved its second wage enforcement case since the city increased its mandated minimum wage.
Merchants Building Maintenance, LLC, a security and janitorial service firm, was charged by the City Attorney’s Office for failing to pay 36 employees the mandated Santa Monica minimum wage.
On Friday, January 19, the company admitted to every wage violation charge levied by the city and agreed to pay full restitution to each of the affected employees (a total sum of more than $23,000). Merchants Building Maintenance was also fined $36,000 in penalties.
The Los Angeles County Department of Consumer & Business Affairs (DCBA) attempted multiple times to seek voluntary compliance without Merchants. When the company failed to act on the department’s demands, the DCBA and the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office charged Merchants with dozens of counts of violations of the Santa Monica minimum wage statutes. The case was to be prepared for criminal prosecution, but the effort was suspended when the company agreed to pay restitution.
“This is a positive and fair result,” said Chief Deputy City Attorney Yibin Shen, in a press release issued by the city of Santa Monica. “Combating growing income inequality and improving the welfare of the City’s workers are core objectives of the City’s Minimum Wage Laws. We look forward to continuing our aggressive education and enforcement of the City’s Minimum Wage Laws.”
“Combating growing income inequality and improving the welfare of the City’s workers are core objectives of the City’s Minimum Wage Laws. We look forward to continuing our aggressive education and enforcement of the City’s Minimum Wage Laws, with our Los Angeles wage enforcement partners, to ensure that the City’s workers, particularly those in low-wage positions, receive fair wages and fair treatment from employers while working in the City of Santa Monica.”
The city of Santa Monica recently completed its first minimum wage enforcement case against JW Marriott LA Boutique Gift Shop (“LA Boutique”), a local hotel-based retail business, who failed to pay numerous employees their Santa Monica minimum wage and retaliating against an employee who attempted to exercise her minimum wage rights.
To report violations of the Santa Monica Minimum Wage Law contact the Santa Monica Wage Enforcement Program of the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs at 800-593-8222, online at http://dcba.lacounty.gov/wps/portal/dca/main/home/wageenforcement or in person at 500 West Temple Street, B96, Los Angeles, California 90012.
For additional information about the City’s Minimum Wage Law, visit www.smgov.net/minimumwage.
Written By Dylan Gera and Casey Jacobs