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Labor Department News Brief
U.S. Department of Labor | March 10, 2016

Orange County recycler to pay workers $200K in back wages, penalties

Employers: Garcia Recycling Center & Metals, Inc.

Sites: 631 S. Main St., Santa Ana, California
2429 W. McFadden Ave., Santa Ana, California
13862 Seaboard Circle, Garden Grove, California

Investigation findings: Investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found that Garcia Recycling Center & Metals paid employees at its recycling centers flat salaries, in cash, regardless of the number of hours employees worked, resulting in an overtime violation when employees worked more than 40 hours in a work week. The company also failed to keep records of hours worked and of cash payments made to workers, all violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Resolution: The company will pay $100,189 in back pay and an equal, additional amount in damages, totaling $200,378, to 15 employees. An investigation like this one is typical of those referred to the department’s partner agencies for further review of federal and state compliance.

Quote: “Some recycling industry employers may believe they fly under the radar of law enforcement agencies when it comes to paying workers a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work,” said Rodolfo Cortez, director of the Wage and Hour Division’s San Diego District Office. “Our investigation of Garcia Recycling Centers & Metals proves them wrong. Employers who deny these workers their hard-earned wages create financial hardships for workers and their families.”

Background: The department issued a press release in 2015 chronicling the high rates of wage and hour violations in Southern California’s recycling industry.

Information: For more information about federal wage laws administered by the Wage and Hour Division, call the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information also is available at

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