Southern California

SoCal Bootcamp Weight Loss Chain Accused of Wage Theft, Labor Law Violations

The Labor Commissioner said managers and other employees were not paid for mandatory staff meetings, and receptionists were not provided required rest or meal breaks.

The Labor Commissioner's Office announced Thursday that Camp Bootcamp Inc., a weight loss and fitness chain doing business as the Camp Transformation Center, was cited for more than $8.3 million for multiple alleged wage theft and labor law violations involving hundreds of employees who worked in 15 locations throughout Southern California.

Unpaid wages and damages are owed to 551 workers, including trainers, trainer assistants, facility managers and receptionists, according to Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su, who said her office launched an investigation last May after receiving a complaint.

According to Su, the investigation found that from August 2014 to August 2017, trainers and assistants at all locations were only paid for each class taught when they should have been paid per hour. They were allegedly shorted on wages due for travel between the class sites, as well as prep and clean up before and after each class.

"Employees must be paid for all hours worked, including travel between worksites,'' Su said. "Employers should not expect to pass the cost of doing business to their workers -- this is wage theft.''

According to Su's office, investigators found that trainers were required to teach classes in different locations, which resulted in driving time of more than an hour between worksites in some cases. Camp Bootcamp issued separate paychecks to trainers or assistants who worked at multiple locations, with workers receiving up to six paychecks for a single pay period. As a result, the employer did not pay the workers overtime, according to Su. Her office said managers and other employees were not paid for mandatory staff meetings, and receptionists were not provided required rest or meal breaks.

Chino-based Camp Bootcamp was ordered to pay nearly $1.2 million in unpaid minimum wages, $421,979 for unpaid overtime, $5,882 for unpaid split shift premium pay, nearly $1.4 million in liquidated damages, $392,106 for meal and rest period violations, $522,166 for waiting time penalties and $190,600 for failure to provide itemized wage statements, totaling $4.1 million payable to the workers. The citations also include nearly $1.3 million in civil penalties, and the employer was further ordered to pay the workers $2.95 million in contract wages owed.

The Labor Commissioner has the authority to issue citations for unpaid minimum wages, but contract wages above the minimum are usually sought through a civil action.

The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, or the Labor Commissioner's Office, is a division within the Department of Industrial Relations with wide-ranging enforcement responsibilities, including inspecting workplaces for wage and hour violations, adjudicating wage claims, investigating retaliation complaints and educating the public on labor laws.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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