California Chain Camp Bootcamp Cited with $8.3 Million in 'Wage Theft' Violations

Chino-based Camp Bootcamp Inc., publicly known as Camp Transformation Center, owes unpaid wages and damages to 551 workers across 15 locations, according to the California Labor Commissioner office.(Photo by Thinkstock.)

Following nearly a yearlong investigation, the California Labor Commissioner office recently announced it has cited Camp Bootcamp Inc., Chino, California, which conducts business as Camp Transformation Center, with more than $8.3 million in "wage theft" and labor law infringements.

According to the office's March 8 media release, 551 workers across 15 of the brand's Southern California locations are owed damages and unpaid wages. This includes receptionists, trainers, trainer assistants and facility managers.

“Employees must be paid for all hours worked, including travel between work sites,” Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su said in the release. “Employers should not expect to pass the cost of doing business to their workers – this is wage theft.”

After receiving a complaint, Su's office initiated a formal investigation into Camp Bootcamp in May 2017. The office found that, between August 2014 to August 2017, Camp Bootcamp trainers had only been paid per class when they should have been paid per hour. Per-class payment did not cover trainers' travel between class sites (more than an hour, in some cases) or class prep and clean-up, the release said.

The investigation also uncovered that Camp Bootcamp issued multiple paychecks to employees who worked at more than one site, resulting in up to six paychecks per pay period for some employees. This eliminated the opportunity for overtime pay, the release said. 

Additionally, employees were not paid for mandatory staff meetings, and receptionists were not offered required breaks for meals and rest.

The violations facing Camp Bootcamp, as detailed in the release, were:

  • $2,950,000 in contract wages owed
  • $1,388,847 in liquidated damages
  • $1,250,200 in civil penalties
  • $1,188,536 in unpaid minimum wages
  • $522,166 for waiting time penalties
  • $421,979 for unpaid overtime
  • $392,106 for meal and rest period violations
  • $190,600 for failure to provide itemized wage statements
  • $5,882 for unpaid split shift premium pay

The release states: "When workers are paid less than minimum wage, they are entitled to liquidated damages that equal the amount of underpaid wages plus interest. ... This penalty is calculated by taking the employee's daily rate of pay and multiplying it by the number of days the employee was not paid, up to a maximum of 30 days. The civil penalties collected will be transferred to the State's General Fund as required by law."

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