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San Bernardino Contractor Hit by USDOL for Nearly $320K in Back Wages and Fines

A San Bernardino home contractor has paid nearly $320,000 after willfully denying overtime wages to 143 painters and other employees, after a U.S. Department of Labor investigation.

Investigators with the department’s Wage and Hour Division determined that Sun West Services LLC did not pay overtime compensation for hours over 40 in a workweek to piece-rate painting and hourly cleaning workers. The employer also failed to maintain proper records of employees’ work hours and other payroll records. Both infractions violate provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

As a result of the investigation, the division has recovered a total of $286,289 — $143,144 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages — for the affected employees. In addition, the department assessed, and Sun West Services has paid, $33,705 in civil money penalties for the willful nature of the employer’s violations. The investigation reviewed the company’s pay practices from March 2019 through March 2022.

“Federal law requires employers to pay all employees all of their legally earned wages,” said Wage and Hour Division Assistant District Director Gayane Aleksanian in West Covina, California. “In this case, Sun West Services willfully denied more than 140 piece-rate and hourly employees for overtime hours worked. The company has now learned that the Wage and Hour Division will hold employers accountable for such failures and for the costly consequences that come with them.”

Located in San Bernardino, Sun West Services LLC is a residential contractor that provides interior and exterior painting of new homes.

The FLSA requires that most employees in the U.S. be paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked and overtime pay at not less than time and one-half the required rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

Read press release on U.S. Department of Labor

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