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California Labor Commissioner collects nearly $3 million in wages and penalties

Search is on to locate technicians, drivers and dispatchers who worked for Pride Towing in Anaheim and Stride Towing and Recovery in Oakland for proper compensation

Santa Ana, Calif.—The Labor Commissioner’s Office (LCO) has collected $2.9 million in wages and penalties owed to 187 former tow truck drivers, dispatchers and technicians who worked for Pride Towing in Anaheim and Stride Towing and Recovery in Oakland. To date, 96 workers have received nearly $1.6 million in back wages and penalties, and the LCO is searching for 91 employees who worked for the companies between June 15, 2014 and Feb. 16, 2017 to provide them with their earned wages.  

“My office used every tool available to get owed wages to workers,” said Labor Commissioner Lilia García-Brower. “This case demonstrates the blatant disregard by some employers for paying judgments. Furthermore, the time it takes to recover the money creates another barrier in finding the workers. We now need the media’s help in amplifying this case to encourage workers to contact us quickly to be paid.”

Employees who worked for Pride Towing in Anaheim from June 15, 2014 to Feb. 16, 2017 and for Stride Towing in Oakland from Aug. 15, 2015 to Feb. 16, 2017 are urged to call the LCO at 833-526-4636 for information on how to collect their back wages.

The Labor Commissioner’s Office cited the companies, owned and operated by Noel Yaqo and his son, Aram Yaco, in 2017 for violations of minimum wage, overtime, meal and rest periods for 129 workers at Pride Towing and 58 workers at Stride Towing.

Employees generally worked 12-hour shifts with no meal or rest breaks, and some worked seven days a week. Pride Towing typically paid workers $110 per day, resulting in an underpayment of regular wages, and Stride Towing failed to pay workers for all overtime hours worked. Drivers and technicians also incurred unlawful deductions and were charged for uniforms and for any accidents or damages incurred while working in the field.

The citations included liquidated damages and waiting time penalties, as well as itemized wage statement violations. Once the citations were affirmed after appeal, judgments were issued for over $4.8 million.

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