Employees of a private firm who, under the firm’s contract with the district, sorted recyclables from a conveyor belt at a county sanitary district-owned facility was public work to which the prevailing wage law applied.  Lab. Code 1720(a)(2) defines public work to include work done for irrigation, utility, and other similar districts.  This work for the sanitary district fell within that definition.  Public work for purposes of the prevailing wage law is not confined to work on construction projects. The trial court found that the defendant employer failed to provide workers a full 30-minute meal break because it required them to return to the conveyor belt 3 to 5 minutes before it resumed operations after exactly a 30 minute shut down.  For this violation, the employer is liable for (a) one hour’s pay per shortened meal break under Lab. Code 226.7, (b) regular hourly pay for the 3 to 5 minutes worked, (c) waiting time penalties for non-payment of the additional wages under (b) to employees who had quit or been discharged, and (d) PAGA penalties under Lab. Code sections 558, 1197.1 and 2699.

California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 8 (Rubin, J.; Grimes, J., concurring & dissenting); November 30, 2018; 29 Cal. App. 5th 778