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California state department sues real estate company for compensation failures

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The Department of Industrial Relations in California recently filed a lawsuit against a real estate company, claiming it failed to pay overtime wages to its employees.

The real estate company has failed to properly compensate its employees since 2006, the lawsuit claims. In return, the department seeks $17 million in damages for employees affected by the company's professional liability failures.

In its lawsuit, the department claims the realty company refused to compensate its employees any overtime, neglecting hours Realtors have spent attending mandatory seminars. Also, the company did not pay out employees after being fired or laid off and sometimes failed to pay a minimum wage, the suit claims.

"It is our job to provide basic protections for all employees working in California," said Christine Baker, acting director of the Department of Industrial Relations. "Wage compression and violations of the minimum labor standards are now occurring in a wide variety of occupations, even affecting employees outside traditional low-wage occupations."

The Industrial Relations Department based its lawsuit on three separate class-action lawsuits filed against the company, which four workers had previously submitted. The company settled these lawsuits for an unspecified sum and was forced to pay these plaintiffs $330,000 in past wages and penalties. 

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