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Labor Commissioner Reaches Settlement Over California Overtime Law

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Bakersfield, CAState Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su reached a settlement totaling $586,068 in four wage cases that were filed to address an issue with the California overtime law, according to a release from the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR).

The four cases were filed to recover unpaid minimum wages and overtime pay for ZipRealty agents who worked out of the Bakersfield office. The settlement was reached prior to a motion for a new trial by the real estate company. 

According to the release, the DIR Division of Labor Standards Enforcement originally heard the case on October 27, 2010, in the administrative process following a filing of wage claims for nonpayment of overtime and minimum pay for the four real estate agents.

"Real estate traditionally is not known as a low wage industry. In the current economy we have seen a change in scenario where real estate agents may earn less than the minimum wage," said DIR Acting Director Christine Baker. "Employers who previously were not concerned with minimum wage issues are now put on notice to ensure they are providing those basic protections to workers."

This settlement requires that each of the four individuals are immediately paid 100 percent of their judgment, which totaled more than $330,000 plus an additional $25,000 for all parties, resulting in a final payment of $430,202. This is in addition to the attorney's fees and expenses that are payable to the Labor Commissioner.

"This resolution reflects the strength of the evidence and the law supporting these four workers' claims for minimum wage and overtime pay that was owed to them," said Su. "The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement will now pursue with equal determination the lawsuit filed in September for hundreds of other ZipRealty employees statewide, who are entitled to compensation for their work."

The Associated Press reported that the labor commissioner has sued ZipRealty for nearly $18 million for failure to pay minimum wages and overtime to hundreds of agents working throughout the state.


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