Law360 reported this week that Donahoo & Associates filed a proposed class action lawsuit in California court on behalf of Plaintiff Jerome Fatulegaee. The plaintiff accuses Long Beach, Tidelands Oil Production Co., subcontractor Nabors Completion & Production Services Co. and other unspecified contractors and subcontractors of failing to pay workers at the proper prevailing wage rate. The work is associated with oil well relocation as part of the Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement project.
If the court agrees, Fatulegaee will represent a class of all non-exempt oil field workers for Tidelands and any of its subcontractors over the past four years. These workers include drilling machine operators, derrickmen and fieldhands, among others. Fatulegaee estimates about 40 workers were employed at a time, with the potential class size enlarged by turnover.
The suit claims that defendants under paid workers and did not provide required wage statements, despite notice since at least April 2013 that the State of California considers the work to be a public works project. California prevailing wage law and the California Labor Code require that contractors and their subcontractors must pay at least the prevailing wage to workers on public works projects. Minimums are published semi-annually in California Department of Industrial Relations (“DIR”) bulletins.
California prevailing wage laws protect workers by establishing minimum pay rates for various job classifications and setting rules for overtime and employee fringe benefits. Any work performed as part of a public works project, whether for a contractor or subcontractor, must be compensated according to the determinations of the DIR. The California Labor Code defines rules for wage statements and other employer obligations.
Fatulegaee is represented by Donahoo & Associates, a firm with a proven record of success in class actions, employment matters and prevailing wage litigation on behalf of workers.
For more information about this case, read “Long Beach, Contractors Sued Over Oil Well Project Wages” in Law360, or contact Donahoo & Associates.