Warrants have been issued for the co-owners of a Texas-based construction company after they failed to appear for their arraignment in Sixth Division District Court on charges stemming from alleged wage theft from their employees.
Warrants for Obed Rodriguez (age 43) and Irene Rodriguez (age 39), the owners of JJC Remodeling LLC, based in Dallas, Texas, were issued by District Court Judge Elaine T. Bucci on February 26, 2020. The pair face multiple charges related to the alleged wage theft from their employees after an investigation by the Office of the Attorney General and the joint efforts of the Department of Labor and Training (DLT).
"Wage theft is a serious, ongoing problem that warrants serious law enforcement attention. Refusal to pay workers money they've earned is stealing – plain and simple," said Attorney General Neronha. "And wage theft not only harms employees; it deprives Rhode Island of tax revenue, which means taxpayers also pay the price."
Obed Rodriguez is charged with three counts of failure to pay wages, three counts of failure by an employer to make payment to an employee upon separation, and three count of failure to pay overtime wages. Irene Rodriguez is charged with three counts of failure by an employer to make payment to an employee upon separation.
It is alleged that between 2017 and 2018, JJC Remodeling operated as a subcontractor on a hotel construction project on Post Road in Warwick, where they employed over a dozen workers. During that time, DLT investigators found multiple violations of state labor law and subsequently referred their findings to the Attorney General's Office.
Through subsequent investigation by the Office of the Attorney General, it was revealed that Obed and Irene Rodriguez did not pay wages, including overtime wages, to three employees for approximately three weeks of pay, totaling approximately $12,700. At least one employee alleges that he was mandated to work 10-hour days, seven-days per week, without being offered overtime pay as required by law.
Additionally, it is alleged that Obed and Irene Rodriguez did not furnish a statement of earnings to the three employees, as required by state law, on every regular payday.
The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Carole McLaughlin.
A complaint is merely an allegation. The U.S. Constitution guarantees that a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until found guilty in a court of law.