SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The California Professional Association of Specialty Contractors (CALPASC), representing hundreds of contractors, applauded yesterday's announcement by the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) to implement a mechanics' lien to recover nearly a quarter of a million dollars in unpaid wages for 31 construction workers at a Northern California project extending from January through May 2013. The joint efforts of the DIR and the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA), through California's Labor Enforcement Task Force (LETF), uncovered that Redwood Coast Hospitality, LLC hired Jansen Construction to build a Holiday Inn Express in Eureka, California. Jansen Construction subsequently subcontracted with PacWest Contracting LLC out of Bend Oregon, which was not appropriately licensed in California and misclassified employees by hiring them under the pretext of independent contractors. According to the DIR's release, the joint enforcement efforts "also uncovered 13 workplace safety violations including five categorized as serious for unsafe ladders, failure to provide fall protection and scaffolding, inadequate training to recognize fall hazards and unguarded saws," resulting in $27,000 of citations.
In response to the DIR's August 12, 2013, announcement, CALPASC Director of Risk Management Bruce Wisk issued the following comments:
"The combined actions of DIR and Cal/OSHA send a strong message that enforcement can reach the far corners of California, not just the urban centers.
"The multi-agency collaboration efforts of LETF continue to demonstrate that unlawful employers who intentionally take advantage of workers and place them in a vulnerable environment will be targeted and brought to justice.
"Legitimate California contractors have been subjected too long to unfair competition from out-of-state contractors.
"This enforcement action signals project owners that their jobs will be hit with liens and incur other tie-ups when hiring unsafe and non-compliant contractors.
"California workers should not be subjected to unsafe conditions and unfair payment practices. We appreciate the LETF taking back the ground for workers and legitimate contractors."
SOURCE California Professional Association of Specialty Contractors (CALPASC)