More than 2,000 workers who helped build the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel from 2006 to 2008 will each get part of over $8 million in unpaid prevailing wages.
California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su announced Monday that $8,072,273 in unpaid prevailing wages has been collected on behalf of the 2,051 workers who built the hotel.
The workers, employed by prime contractor Hensel Phelps Construction Co. and 172 subcontractors during construction of the 1,190-room hotel, will receive the full prevailing wages they earned on the public works project.
Christine Baker, director of the state's Department of Industrial Relations, determined that the project was a public work because it was paid for out of public funds due to a $46.5 million rent credit provided by the Port of San Diego, which leased the land to the hotel owner.
"This office will vigorously enforce prevailing wage law to collect all of the wages owed to workers," Su said in a news release. "Prevailing wage laws help ensure that public dollars are used to fund quality construction and good jobs that can support families in California."
The San Diego Superior Court issued a writ of mandate on Feb. 3, 2010 reversing the determination of Baker and finding the project was not a public work. The California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District reversed the trial court and affirmed the decision of Baker on July 26, 2011.
Hensel Phelps Construction Co. and the Labor Commissioner then negotiated the amount of wages due to the workers. All 2,051 workers will receive the full prevailing wages they earned on this project. They performed every aspect of construction, from foundation drilling to concrete pouring to steel erection to landscaping.
Hensel Phelps will pay a third-party administrator to process payments to the workers. The prime contractor will also pay an additional $400,000 to the Labor Commissioner as reimbursement for investigative costs.
Greg Siggins, a spokesman for the Department of Industrial Relations, said the money was collected and deposited on June 10 and workers should expect to receive their share in 60-90 days.
Phone calls to Colorado-based Hensel Phelps for comment were not returned.