Sophia Ramirez, Labor Compliance Project Manager for the Center for Contract Compliance, has uncovered serious violations of wage underpayment and under utilization of apprentices on a Public Works Project in San Bernardino County.
Jeff Baron (Baron Services) has a history of wage violations on Public Works Construction Projects. Baron’s company performs construction final cleanup, under contract, on Public Works Projects subject to the State Prevailing Wages. Baron does not believe that workers doing construction clean-up work, including some janitorial duties, should make the prevailing wage that has been in place for decades. Baron has attempted two schemes to subvert the State Prevailing Wages.
He first tried in 2009, to use a “Janitorial Exemption” found in the California Code of Regulations under Title 8 §16000 which does not apply to Construction Final Cleanup on Public Works Contracts. He lost the decision in a hearing with the Department of Industrial Relation. He then tried another angle to evade paying his employees the State Prevailing Wage. He claimed them as “Volunteers” as defined in the State Labor Code under §1720.4, and did not pay them any salary. This exemption was also found by the D.I.R. not to apply to the Public Works Contract. The next time he was caught on a Public Works Contract doing Construction Final Clean-up, he reverted back to the “Janitorial Exemption” and again lost the decision in hearings before the Department of Industrial relations (albeit) a Writ of Mandate was filed against the D.I.R.’s decision, so the decision is not yet final. The total amount of wages and penalties assessed by the D.I.R. for these two cases was approximately $120,000.00. Not only has Jeff Baron disregarded the States Prevailing Wage Laws, but also failed to hire apprentices in accordance to the State Labor Code 1777.5. and has been issued a Civil Wage and Penalty Assessment by D.I.R for this violation in the amount of $183,600.00. Would it surprise you to know that Jeff Baron (Baron Services) has committed all of these charged violations while out on parole waiting his trial in the Riverside Superior Court (Criminal Case RIF1203140) for other alleged tax and workers’ compensation violations on Public Works Projects?
Jeff Baron is still conducting business with all of this under his belt.
See attached for the supporting documents.