Antioch Assisted Living Facility Owners Held in Contempt for Retaliating Against Workers

The owners of an Antioch assisted living facility were held in contempt by a federal judge in San Francisco for retaliating against employees during a U.S. Department of Labor investigation into the company’s wage and record keeping practices, labor department officials said today.

Mahrangiz Sarkeshik and Abolfazl Sarkeshik, owners of the Lake Alhambra Assisted Living Center at 825 E. 18th St. in Antioch, were found to have forced employees to take a week off without pay and were attempting to sell the business and require the new owners to terminate the entire workforce, labor department officials said.

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken had issued a temporary restraining order in June prohibiting retaliation against the workers after the owners tried to block the entry of federal investigators into the facility and threatened the immigrant labor force with deportation, discharge, reduced wages and work hours.

The company had already been found to be in violation of minimum wage, overtime, record keeping and anti-retaliation provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to the labor department.

The owners’ efforts to sell the business were halted unless they get a new agreement that does not require terminating all the employees or arrange for a $553,000 escrow in case they are held liable for back wages and damages.

Scott Morris, Bay City News

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