California labor laws are being enforced in the city of San Francisco to protect California laborers who are particularly susceptible to wage theft. These workers are often entitled to compensation exceeding backed wages due to minimum wage laws, including severance pay violations, liquidated damages and waiting time penalties. If workers are able to submit a complaint within the statute of limitations timeframe, they can often recover significant lost wages. Community organizations Mujeres Unidas y Activas and the Legal Aid Society–Employment Law Center recently assisted in a labor case awarded in favor of laborers by the California Labor Commissioner.
California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su. has awarded back pay in the amount of $138,386 to a caregiver who worked 16-hour days in San Francisco without adequate compensation. Francisca Vasquez, a Salvadorian war refugee, was hired in 1992 by two siblings to work as a caregiver and companion for their elderly parents. Vasquez was originally paid $400 per month, and later $500 per month as she took on housekeeping and round-the-clock care for the sibling’s ailing mother. Upon the death of the mother, Vasquez was discharged from her position.
The labor commissioner awarded her:
- $50,008 for wages
- $48,209 in liquidated damages
- $35,707 in interest
- $4,464 in penalties
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