WEST COVINA, CA – A U.S. Department of Labor investigation has recovered $78,472 in back wages and liquidated damages for 54 guards employed by a West Covina security company that denied them overtime pay illegally and then attempted to conceal the overtime hours by recording them falsely as training, bonuses, commissions and reimbursements.

The department’s Wage and Hour Division found Brapga Security Systems Inc. and owner Santos Parinas paid some employees straight-time rates for all hours worked, including those over 40 in a workweek. Federal law requires employers to pay employees time-and-one-half for overtime hours. The division also determined Parinas tried to evade the Fair Labor Standards Act’s provisions by masking overtime hours in the company’s payroll records, which led to additional recordkeeping violations.

“The U.S. Department of Labor will combat wage theft of all forms, including when an employer such as Brapga Security Systems manipulates time records to avoid paying overtime wages,” said Wage and Hour Division Assistant District Director Gayane Aleksanian in West Covina, California. “Federal law requires employers to pay workers their fully earned wages, including overtime, or face potentially costly consequences for violations and penalties for those who try to hide their theft.”

In addition to the recovery of back wages and damages, the division assessed the employer with $15,790 in penalties for the willful nature of the violations.

Based in West Covina, Brapga Security Systems Inc. is a privately owned provider of security services serving clients in Southern California.

Workers and employers with questions can contact the Wage and Hour Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243), regardless of where they are from. The division protects workers against retaliation and has regulations that prohibit retaliation, harassment, intimidation or adverse actions against employees that assert their worker rights. Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division and how to file an online complaint. 

Download the agency’s Timesheet App for Android and Apple devices to ensure hours and pay are accurate.

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