Palmdale company assessed $300K for withholding wages

A Palmdale contractor must pay more than $300,000 in back wages and damages after failing to pay nearly 50 workers what they were owed, according to the United States Department of Labor.

Tejon Constructors “deliberately failed to pay [these 47 workers] for time spent working before and after their shifts and when traveling to and from the company’s yard,” the DOL said in a news release.

Tejon’s owners, Brian Smith, Timothy Costello and Paul Delgado, also did not keep accurate time records for employees, which is required by law, officials said.

In addition to the almost $306,000 Tejon must pay — half for back wages and the other half for “liquidated damages” — the company owes $9,494 in penalties for “willful disregard of federal regulations,” the release said.

“The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to making sure workers are paid every dollar they earn,” Wage and Hour Division Assistant District Director Susan Bacon said in the release. “Our investigators often find employers in the residential construction industry not paying workers for pre- and post-shift work and for work-related travel time. We encourage employers to contact us with questions to avoid compliance issues and the potentially costly consequences of paying back wages and damages.”

To contact the Wage and Hour Division or report malfeasance, call 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243).

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to KTLA.