Brown reaches settlement with SoCal drywall company

Kathy Woods Apr. 5, 2010, 2:47pm

Jerry Brown (D)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline)-More than 200 workers of a Southern California drywall company will receive $200,000 collectively in back pay, under a settlement state Attorney General Jerry Brown announced Monday.

Charles Evleth Construction of Bakersfield, Calif., was accused of denying its employees overtime and fair wages. Brown said the moves were made so the firm could cut costs so they could build an unfair market advantage and underbid their competitors.

"To boost its profits and underbid competitors, Charles Evleth Construction routinely denied its hardworking employees a fair wage and overtime pay," Brown said. "Today's judgment secures back pay for more than 200 employees and prohibits this company from violating workers' rights."

The attorney general's office said in its investigation, which was initiated in late 2008, officials found more than 1,100 violations of California law in addition to violations of federal law.

Under the settlement, the company is barred from paying its employees in cash so to avoid paying state and federal taxes. Additionally, company supervisors now from taking kickbacks from employees' paychecks.

Brown filed a lawsuit against the company in January 2009 in Kern County Superior Court to recover unpaid wages for workers who were denied their full paychecks and overtime pay.

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