Labor Commissioner Decision Results in over $100,000 for Hunting Club Caretaker Making Less than Minimum Wage
The California Labor Commissioner’s Office announced that a Northern California hunting club paid an on-site caretaker $100,867 in back wages after the wage claim hearing officer ruled the worker was making less than minimum wage. He was misclassified as an exempt, salaried employee and should have been paid hourly.
The caretaker of Butte Lodge Outing Club, Inc. in Colusa filed a claim for unpaid wages from April 2014 to June 2016. Following the hearing, the Labor Commissioner’s Office awarded the worker $76,003 in overtime wages, $17,988 in liquidated damages, and $6,875 in interest.
“Misclassifying workers exposes employers to significant financial costs,” said Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su. “California law is clear that if employers pay less than the minimum wage, when they are caught they will be responsible for paying not just the wages owed but an equivalent amount in liquidated damages plus interest. This case shows that when workers come forward to report wage theft, we can help them get what they’ve earned and in many cases even more.”
The 55-year-old caretaker had been employed at the hunting club for 18 years as a salaried employee paid biweekly. In addition to the care of the property, the worker was tasked with planting the wetlands with trees, grasses and grain preferred by waterfowl, and upon request, frequently plucked, gutted and cleaned the ducks shot down by the lodge members. He worked more than 70 hours a week during duck hunting season, which normally takes place for 10 to 12 weeks from October through January. His employer paid him the wages owed this month.
Source: Department of Industrial Relations | 2017 © Copyright Payroll Masters
Payroll Masters is not a licensed insurance broker or agent and does not provide professional or legal advice. This document has been provided for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be construed to constitute legal advice. Please contact your employment attorney in connection with any fact-specific situation in which you intend to take significant employment action. Readers agree that they will hold Payroll Masters in indemnity and Payroll Masters assumes no liability. Payroll Masters is not engaged in rendering legal or accounting services. Therefore, Payroll Masters assumes no responsibility for claims arising from the use or implementation of the above information.