Company failed to pay employees wages and overtime owed
LOS ANGELES — California Attorney General Rob Bonta today announced a lawsuit against a Southern California-based construction subcontractor alleging ongoing wage and hour violations. The lawsuit alleges that West Coast Drywall & Company, Inc., (which conducts business as West Coast Drywall & Paint) failed to pay employees wages owed, overtime wages, provide accurate and complete itemized wage statements, reimburse for tools and equipment, and provide mandated breaks for its field employees since at least August of 2019.
“Workplace laws are essential for the benefit and safety of California workers,” said Attorney General Bonta. “The California Department of Justice is here to protect workers from exploitive businesses like West Coast Drywall & Paint. Bottom line, if you are a company that is taking advantage of workers, we will prosecute you. My office will continue to stand up for the rights of workers across the state.”
West Coast Drywall & Paint is headquartered in Riverside County with a satellite office in San Diego County. West Coast Drywall & Paint publicly advertises that it is the largest drywall and painting subcontractor in Southern California, providing its services to some of the state’s largest home builders, including KB Home, Lennar Homes, and Shea Homes. In the past four years, the company employed about 7,000 workers, the vast majority as drywall and painting field employees.
Central to West Coast Drywall & Paint’s pay practices and labor law violations is the company’s piece-rate compensation system. Under this system, instead of paying a fixed hourly wage, the company pays its field employees for each piece they complete at a promised rate. Although piece-rate compensation systems like the one used by West Coast Drywall & Paint are common in the construction industry, they are often abused by employers to obscure an employer’s failure to fully compensate their workers for all hours worked. DOJ’s investigation revealed that West Coast Drywall & Paint did not provide legally mandated information to employees about the number of pieces that formed the basis of their pay, making it impossible for workers to accurately calculate the wages they were owed.
Attorney General Bonta is committed to defending workers' rights, workplace safety, and California's fair and competitive labor market. Through the Civil Rights Enforcement Section, the Worker Rights and Fair Labor Section, and the Antitrust Law Section, Attorney General Bonta enforces California’s laws to protect the welfare of California workers and legitimate businesses operating in California. In 2023, Attorney General Bonta took action to protect workers, launching an historic investigation into gender discrimination in the National Football League, joined 17 attorneys general in supporting the Federal Trade Commission’s proposed rule limiting noncompete agreements, fought for the rights of transportation workers, and immigrant children. In November 2022, Attorney General Bonta joined 21 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief opposing McDonald’s attempt to evade liability for past alleged efforts to stifle competition and undercut wages through the use of “no-poach” agreements. In October 2022, Attorney General Bonta filed an amicus brief in an effort to protect Californians from discrimination in the employment hiring process.
If you currently or previously worked for West Coast Drywall & Paint and would like to contact the Worker Rights & Fair Labor Section about this lawsuit, please contact us via email at WorkerRights@doj.ca.gov or by phone at (619) 643-3340. Assistance is available in both English and Spanish.
A copy of the complaint is available here.
Para leer en español, haga clic aquí.