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City Resolves Two Minimum Wage Cases at Santa Monica Hotel
By Lookout Staff
August 21, 2018 -- Two wage enforcement cases at the Loews Hotel in Santa Monica have been resolved by the City Attorney's office working with County officials, the City announced Tuesday.
Investigators from the County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA) uncovered "significant" wage related violations at Loews Hotel and Flowers and Hewes, Inc, a retail establishment within the hotel.
The "extensive" investigation found that some workers were paid as little as $2.86 per hour, a fraction of the City’s hotel minimum wage rate of $13.25 as of July 1, 2016 and $15.66 as of July 1, 2017.
After being charged, both entities admitted to wage violations against 23 affected employees and agreed to pay full restitution totaling more than $12,000," City officials said.
They also agreed to pay $9,210 in penalties.
“It is paramount in each of our wage enforcement cases that the affected employees receive full restitution for their back wages and that the employer is educated about the City’s wage laws," said Chief Deputy City Attorney Yibin Shen.
"This case successfully achieved both results.”
The two cases bring to four the total number of cases resolved by the City and the DCBA, which is under contract with the City to enforce the local law.
Two previous cases were filed against the JW Marriott LA Boutique Gift Shop and Merchants Building Maintenance, LLC.
In the case against the hotel gift shop, the owner was convicted of "egregious" violations of the law ("Marriott Hotel Gift Shop Owner Becomes First Convicted of Violating Santa Monica Higher Minimum Wage Law," November 28, 2017).
The owner pleaded no contest and was ordered to pay back wages, costs for prosecutors and perform community service, City officials said.
In the case against Merchants Building Maintenance, the company admitted to dozens of violations of the local wage law and agreed to pay full restitution to the 36 affected employees, totaling more than $23,000, officials said.
It also agreed to pay $36,000 in penalties ("Santa Monica Prosecutors Resolve Second Case of Minimum Wage Law Violations," January 24, 2018).
According to a report issued by City staff last month, from the fall of 2016 through April 2018, the DCBA responded to 19 inquires ("Minimum Wage Law Has Had No Major Impact on Santa Monica Economy, Report Finds," August 2, 2018).
These resulted in ten investigations involving 110 employees.
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