San Mateo, CA (Law Firm Newswire) March 13, 2017 - San Jose, CA chauffeur services provider Restivo Enterprises, Inc. dba Le Grande Affaire was ordered to pay more than $260,000 to 7 former chauffeurs when they prevailed in their former employer’s unsuccessful appeals to the Santa Clara County Superior Court from California Labor Commissioner awards.
Limousine and shuttle van drivers James Parker, Jose Retana, Bruce Doan, Louis Zapata, Arturo Carrillo, Jonathan Covey and Maria Valencia were each awarded the monetary judgments by the California Labor Commissioner at a Berman hearing. Restivo Enterprises, Inc. appealed, but the former employees won on appeal and the Labor Commissioner’s awards were upheld by the Superior Court.
San Mateo law firm Kletter + Nguyen Law LLP represented the employees before the Division of Labor Standards and Enforcement (DLSE), also known as the Labor Commissioner, and through the subsequent appeal to the California Superior Court.
The Labor Commissioner found that the employees at times worked off the clock and were not paid for all of their overtime work at the overtime premium pay rates of time-and-half or double-time. The Labor Commissioner found that the employees worked hundreds of hours for which they were “not paid anything”. The Labor Commissioner stated that the “employer’s subjective intent is not relevant” as “ignorance of the law is never a defense”. The DLSE also found that the employer failed to provide mandated meal breaks and did not accurately track the hours worked.
“I was thrilled to assist these drivers achieve justice. This case involved an employer completely disregarding the law and engaging in a pattern and practice of consistently failing to pay employees the substantial wages they were owed. This employer flouted the law and tried to cut corners by unlawfully failing to pay its employees. I feel very fortunate that I was a part of the process of achieving this victory for the employees,” said Sally Trung Nguyen, of Kletter + Nguyen Law LLP, counsel for the drivers.