About 100 La Mina de Oro employees experienced wage justice recently as the Labor Commissioner cited the Riverside perfume and fragrance wholesale distributor close to $1.4 million for wage-related violations. The two violations, issued February 2021 and May 2021, resulted from worker complaints stemming three years ago. Warehouse Worker Resource Center (WWRC), a nonprofit worker rights organization based in Ontario, played a pivotal role in the state’s decision to issue the citations as they helped La Mina de Oro staff understand their workplace legal rights and assisted in reporting violations.

“I am glad we have found some justice in this case,” says a former employee from La Mina del Oro, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation. “Unfortunately, many workers are scared to speak up or file complaints. I am happy for the lost wages we should receive, but even more so if this means that other workers don’t have to go through what we did.”

In early 2018, WWRC learned of potential wage and other violations at La Mina del Oro when several employees approached the organization for assistance with working conditions they believed were illegal. Because multiple workers at La Mina del Oro reported similar wage theft violations, an investigation by California was launched. After complaints were verified and La Mina del Oro’s operations analyzed, the Labor Commissioner issued citations totalling $1,393,907 for violations of minimum wage, overtime, meal and rest break, and itemized wage statement laws.

“We’re glad to have played a pivotal role in the Labor Commissioner’s citation and bring justice to La Mina de Oro workers,” says Sheheryar Kaoosji, Executive Director at WWRC. “Our organization’s mission is to take action against poor working conditions in warehouses and beyond. But to achieve this, employees must trust that we will advocate for them. We couldn’t have asked for a better outcome.”