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San Diego Caregivers To Get Back Wages, Damages

A residential care business in San Diego has been ordered to pay 15 employees more than $1.1 million in back wages and damages.

Family Residential Care, which operates four locations in San Diego and East County, was found in violation of minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping provisions of the California Labor Code.

An investigation was launched in July 2015 after an investigator with the California Labor Commissioner's Office received an anonymous tip.

Investigators found the employer had paid 15 caregivers less than $4 an hour for what amounted to 24-hour shifts, five days a week. Most of the workers were women who had recently emigrated from the Philippines. They were obligated to sleep in the rooms with their patients and pay their employer $180 each week for food and lodging.

The California Labor Commissioner's Office said the employer must pay the 15 workers $331,843 in lost minimum wages, $386,602 in overtime wages and $393,158 in liquidated damages, which equals the amount of underpaid wages plus interest.

“Caregivers who serve our elderly and disabled perform some of the most important and valuable work in our state and often work long hours to do so,” Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su said. “Paying them for all of the hours they work is not only the fair things to, it is required by law.”

A spokesperson with the California Labor Commissioner’s Office said Family Residential Care has appealed the findings.

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