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Bankrupt builder to pay $475,000 in wage lawsuit

Jacob Adelman
AP writer

Los Angeles — Construction subcontracting giant Building Materials Holding Corp. will pay nearly $475,000 to a group of construction workers from California, Arizona and Nevada under a legal settlement approved by a judge overseeing the company’s Chapter 11 proceedings, the laborers’ lawyer said Tuesday.

The Idaho-based company was one of the nation’s largest homebuilding subcontractors before it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June.

A $244,000 settlement will be shared among 85 workers who accused the firm and several subsidiaries of withholding workers’ overtime and other wage payments in a lawsuit filed last year, lawyer Eve Cervantez said. Another $231,000 would go toward legal fees, she said.

Eleven additional workers opted out of the settlement approved last month by Chief United States Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Carey in Delaware and still have claims pending in bankruptcy court, Cervantez said.

“What we’re really hoping is that the company, as it emerges from bankruptcy and continues building homes, will pay more attention to its legal obligations and pay its workers fairly in the future,” she said.

The lawsuit accused the company and its subsidiaries, including San Francisco-based SelectBuild Construction Inc., of violating state and federal law by not paying laborers higher rates for overtime work and by withholding payment for time spent in transit between job sites.

Company officials also forced workers to hand in time sheets that understated the hours they had worked, the lawsuit said.

Debtors in the bankruptcy case with claims against the bankrupt firm disputed the workers’ allegations in court filings but said that litigation could disrupt the company’s reorganization.

A message seeking comment from Building Materials Holding Corp. was not immediately returned.

One comment

  1. So…each worker gets about 2800 bucks…..and a handful of lawyers pocket 230 Grand….perfect.

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