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Riverside County Employment Lawyers > Blog > Employment Lawyer For Employers > California Regulators Recover More than $1 Million from Employer for Wage and Hour Violation—Case Shows Importance of Prevailing Wage Compliance

California Regulators Recover More than $1 Million from Employer for Wage and Hour Violation—Case Shows Importance of Prevailing Wage Compliance


On December 13th, 2023, the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) announced that more than $1 million in penalties have been recovered from private employers for prevailing wage violations. Two Riverside-based contractors—Stronghold Engineering (a general contractor) and Perry Coast Construction (Stronghold’s subcontractor)—were cited for failing to pay a prevailing wage on a public project. Here, our California employment law attorney provides a more comprehensive overview of the enforcement action as well as the regulations for prevailing wages.

 Enforcement Action: Two Contractors in Riverside Failed to Pay Prevailing Wage 

As confirmed in the press release from the DIR, the California Labor Commissioner’s Office has secured $1.1 million in financial sanctions from Riverside, CA contractors Stronghold Engineering and Perry Coast Construction. The two companies were cited for prevailing wage violations in relation to a public project for improvement of the Monterey Conference Center and the Portola Plaza. The DIR indicates that 74 workers are covered by the settlement agreement, which dates back to violations that allegedly occurred starting in 2016. Most notably, the enforcement action is centered around an employee’s claim that the two firms failed to pay the prevailing wage.

Understanding Prevailing Wage Rules in California 

Any employer in California that works on a state-funded project must be aware of prevailing wage laws. In California, prevailing wage regulations are designed to ensure that workers on public projects are paid fairly and that the project does not “undercut” the wages of the local area and local industry. In California, the prevailing wage law means paying the usual wage for similar jobs in the area. In other words, employers subject to prevailing wage laws must pay workers at least the average wage for that particular job in that particular area. To be clear, prevailing wage rates are not just about the hourly wage, but also about benefits like health insurance and retirement benefits.

he Lesson: Contractors on Public Projects Must Know Prevailing Wage Obligations

 Contractors engaged in public projects in California must be fully aware of their prevailing wage obligations to avoid legal and financial repercussions. The case brought against the two Riverside-based companies provides an instructive lesson. These contractors faced significant penalties for failing to pay the correct prevailing wages. Understanding and complying with prevailing wage requirements is essential for contractors to maintain their reputation, avoid costly penalties, and maintain their eligibility for public contracts.

Call Our California Employment Attorney Today

At the Law Office of Karen J. Sloat, APC, our California employment lawyer is standing by, ready to help you determine the best course of action. If you have any questions about prevailing wages, we are here to help. Contact us today for a confidential consultation. We provide employment law services to employers in Coachella Valley, Riverside County, and throughout the State of California.



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