Hospital chain fined $7M for not paying workers

BELLFLOWER - A Los Angeles-based hospital chain has been fined more than $7 million for not paying its workers and issuing checks to employees that later bounced.Pacific Health Corporation oversees Bellflower Medical Center, Los Angeles Metropolitan Medical Center, Tustin Hospital, Newport Specialty Hospital and Anaheim General Hospital. All of the locations except Newport were cited. The California Labor Commission fined Pacific Health $6.5 million for failing to provide itemized wage statements to employees, and more than $524,000 for late payment and issuing checks that were returned by the bank for insufficient funds. "Employers have an obligation to pay workers the wages they've earned," said Christine Baker, director of the state department of industrial relations. "Forcing employees to wait for payment, or depriving them of promised benefits, are illegal acts and cause unacceptable hardship." "Workers depend on the timely payment of their hard-earned wages for the basic necessities of life," added California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su. "When paychecks are returned marked 'insufficient funds,' it is a fundamental breach of the promise of a just day's pay for a hard day's work. My office will step into that breach and make sure California's workers get the money they've earned in their pockets."

********** Published: March 21, 2013 - Volume 11 - Issue 49