California labor commissioner seeks unpaid wages from farm contractor

California labor regulators are seeking $635,000 in back wages, penalties and damages from a San Joaquin County farm-labor contractor.

Labor Commissioner Julie Su said Tuesday she is filing a lawsuit in Fresno County Superior Court against Javier Diaz and his company, Diaz Contracting, for alleged multiple wage-and-hour violations, including failure to pay minimum wage and overtime to 129 employees.

The lawsuit is the result of an extensive investigation, according to Su’s office, the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement at the California Department of Industrial Relations.

“Low wage workers are particularly vulnerable and the mobile nature of the work in industries such as agriculture often poses challenges to enforcement,” Su said in statement. “This lawsuit is an example of our commitment to conducting in-depth, meaningful inspections.


“It also sends a message that when workers come forward to tell us about illegal working conditions, we will take action to protect them.”

In addition to the back wages, penalties and damages, the lawsuit asks a judge to grant an injunction to prevent Diaz and his company from engaging in future violations of state labor laws.

Diaz could not be reached for comment.


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