Wage Theft: Sunset Care Facility Settles With Four Employees For $270,000 In Back Pay

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera today announced a more than $300,000 settlement with a Sunset District senior care facility for underpaying employees over the past five years.

The $325,000 settlement with Sunset Gardens, finalized late Thursday, includes $270,000 in back wages and interest for four employees, Herrera said.

In addition, the facility agreed to pay $55,000 to the city for the cost of the investigation.

The lawsuit filed against Sunset Gardens by the city attorney’s office alleged the facility violated state and local laws by requiring employees to work shifts between 12 and 24 hours per day for monthly wages that worked out to well below the required minimum hourly wage, Herrera said.

None of the employees received overtime or double-time pay, as required by law, the lawsuit alleged.

Sunset Gardens is the seventh senior care facility to reach a settlement with the city on wage and business practices since mid-2011. The settlements, which have ranged from $28,064 to $518,5000, total more than $1.5 million.

“This case and six others involving residential senior care facilities should send a strong message to would-be wage cheats that there is no profit in breaking the law,” Herrera said in a statement.

“Yesterday’s settlement with Sunset Gardens directly compensates the employees who were cheated out of their wages, while also assuring law-abiding competitors that they won’t have to compete with scofflaws,” Herrera said.

The lawsuit was brought by Herrera’s office and the Wage Justice Center, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit. The investigation into the wage violations was led by the San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement with the help of the Filipino Community Center.

Sara Gaiser, Bay City News

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