Buy Back, a Fresno recycling company, has paid more than $30,000 in back wages and damages to six homeless workers after failing to pay them the federal minimum wage and violating record-keeping rules.
The U.S. Department of Labor announced Tuesday that the company paid $15,272 in back wages and an equal amount in damages to employees after an investigation by the Wage and Hour Division. The division began an education and enforcement initiative in the Southern California recycling industry in 2015.
Buy Back collects and recycles aluminum, plastic and glass in five Fresno locations. The investigation found that the company violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by not paying workers, identified as “helpers,” the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.
Instead, the workers were paid a daily rate, food and drinks or a few dollars, regardless of the hours worked. The company also failed to record all the hours that employees worked and their rates of pay.