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The owner of six California residential care facilities for the elderly must pay $8.5 million in citations over “systemic and egregious” wage theft violations after the state upheld an earlier finding.
The California Department of Industrial Relations said Wednesday that it had upheld the state labor commissioner’s 2018 citations against Angelica Reingold and Adat Shalom Board & Care in West Hills, CA. The company, now rebranded as Land of Peace, provides services for residents with dementia or Parkinson’s disease, as well as hospice care, at six assisted living communities. The organization was ordered to pay underpaid wages and penalties to 148 current and former employees who provided care to residents around-the-clock but were paid less than $3 an hour for their work.
Reingold, the CEO and sole corporate officer, appealed the citations, which were upheld with some modifications, including decreasing the amount of minimum wages owed and increasing the amount owed in overtime and meal break premiums. Prejudgment interest also was added to the citations.
Adat Shalom Board & Care and Reingold owe more than $8.5 million in violations, with $8.4 million payable to workers for unpaid wages, overtime, meal break pay, liquidated damages and interest. Specifically, the California Department of Industrial Relations said, the company owes:
- $1.6 million in minimum wages to 148 workers
- $2.5 million in liquidated damages (equal to the underpaid minimum wages plus interest)
- $2.1 million in prejudgment interest
- $1.9 million in overtime pay
- $152,000 for meal break premium pay
- $97,000 for itemized wage statement violations
- $77,600 in civil penalties
Prejudgment interest continues to accrue at a rate of $1,018 per day, whereas interest on the liquidated damages continues to accrue at $442 per day.
Reingold and the RCFE have 45 days from the Sept. 30 decision announced Wednesday to file an appeal, which requires posting a bond equal to the total amount of minimum wages, liquidated damages and overtime due and owing: $6.1 million.
The Labor Commissioner’s Office opened an investigation in 2017 after receiving a report of labor law violations from the Pilipino Workers Center. The investigation, according to the department, found that from July 2014 to July 2017, live-in caregivers at six facilities in West Hills, CA, were paid less than the minimum wage, not paid overtime, not provided meal or rest breaks, and given pay stubs that did not include hourly pay rates and hours worked.
The workers were paid fixed amounts ranging from $1,500 to $1,800 per month, or $2.40 to $2.88 per hour.
“This decision affirms that the wage theft violations were systemic and egregious,” California Labor Commissioner Lilia Garcia-Brower said in a statement. “These workers provided a valuable service to the residents in the face of long hours and challenging conditions. They must be properly paid for their labor.”
The state of California filed suit against Angelica and Alexander Reingold, owners of Adat Shalom, in 2019 for fraudulently transferring five properties, valued at $4.8 million, out of the reach of creditors. That case is pending in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Reingold had not responded to requests for comment from McKnight’s Senior Living by the production deadline.