U.S. Department of Labor seeks employees of Tempe contractor who owes millions in back pay

The Department of Labor is looking for current and former employees of Valley Wide Plastering...
The Department of Labor is looking for current and former employees of Valley Wide Plastering Construction, Inc. who may be owed $2.6 million in backpay and damages.(MGN)
Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 3:16 PM MST
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TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - The U.S. Department of Labor is looking for current and former employees of Valley Wide Plastering Construction, Inc., who may be owed part of the $2.6 million in overtime wages and damages recovered after a federal court approved a consent judgment post-investigation of the department.

On Nov. 17, the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona began investigating a complaint filed by the department against the contracting company and its owners, Jesse Guerrero, Rose Guerrero, and J.R. Guerrero. The department alleged shocking violations of federal overtime, recordkeeping, and anti-retaliation provisions. The Guerreros have agreed to pay $1,312,360 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages to the employees impacted by their crimes.

“Our immediate priority is ensuring that workers denied overtime pay receive the wages and damages they are owed,” said Jessica Looman, principal deputy administrator of the Wage and Hour Division. “The Wage and Hour Division and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of the Solicitor worked tirelessly to hold Valley Wide Plastering and the Guerreros accountable.”

In May 2022, the court granted the department’s motion against Valley Wide Plastering, its owners, and its vice president for violating a preliminary injunction and continuing to falsify time records, not maintaining a timekeeping system, and listing false regular rates of pay on payroll records. “The U.S. Department of Labor will hold accountable employers that continue to break the law – even during litigation – despite knowing what they are doing is illegal,” said Solicitor of Labor Seema Nanda. “We will use every tool available to us, including injunctions and contempt actions, to enforce the law and stop wage theft.”

Employees who believe they were denied overtime wages are asked to call the department’s Wage and Hour Division in Phoenix at 602-407-5323 to find out if or what they’re owed. In addition, the department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages through the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). There may be more judgment necessary against the contractor if they fail to pay the amounts due, demand, or take any of the backpay funds from employees.