Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

City Attorney Settles Second Wage Enforcement Suit against Merchants Building Maintenance

City Attorney Claims Full Restitution to 36 Santa Monica Janitorial and Security Workers


January 27, 2018

A beach in Santa Monica presents a cheap day off.

The Santa Monica City Attorney's Office says that it has settled a wage enforcement case against Merchants Building Maintenance, LLC, a janitorial and security services company. Merchants was charged with failing to pay 36 employees their Santa Monica minimum wage.

For many months, Los Angeles County Department of Consumer & Business Affairs ("DCBA") – contracted as the Wage Enforcement Division of the City – sent letters that didn't result in full compliance. So the City attorney sued.

"As a result, DCBA, in coordination with City prosecutors, administratively charged Merchants with dozens of counts of Santa Monica minimum wage (Santa Monica Municipal Code Chapter 4.62 and 4.63) violations and prepared the case for prosecution," wrote Constance Farrell, City of Santa Monica public information officer. "On January 19, 2018, Merchants admitted to every wage violation as charged, agreed to pay full restitution to the 36 affected employees (totaling over $23,000), and agreed to pay $36,000 in penalties."

"This is a positive and fair result," said Chief Deputy City Attorney Yibin Shen, who led prosecution of the case for the City Attorney's Office. "It is paramount in each of our wage enforcement cases that the affected employees receive full restitution for their back wages and that the employer is educated about the City's wage laws. This case successfully achieved both results."

"Combating growing income inequality and improving the welfare of the City's workers are core objectives of the City's Minimum Wage Laws. We look forward to continuing our aggressive education and enforcement of the City's Minimum Wage Laws, with our Los Angeles wage enforcement partners, to ensure that the City's workers, particularly those in low-wage positions, receive fair wages and fair treatment from employers while working in the City of Santa Monica."

For more information about the City's Minimum Wage Law, visit

This is the second minimum wage case for the City Attorney's Office. For more information on the first case, visit


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