San Francisco – June 28, 2012 – Jose Ramirez, Luis Gomez, and Marck Mena Ortega, employees of Ghilotti Bros., Inc. (GBI), a San Rafael, California construction company, yesterday filed a class action lawsuit in Alameda Superior Court against the company and its affiliates charging that the company refuses to pay them for all hours worked and denies work breaks required by law.  A copy of the complaint is available here: Ramirez v Ghilotti Brothers Inc

“”Ghilotti Bros., Inc. is taking advantage of its workers, mostly Spanish-speaking men who spend long hours each day loading and unloading equipment on the company’s trucks and driving to work sites all around the Bay Area without being paid for it,”” said plaintiffs’ attorney Gay Grunfeld of Rosen, Bien & Galvan in San Francisco. 

According to the company website, Ghilotti Bros., Inc. employs over 275 individuals working in 11 Bay Area counties and generating annual revenues in excess of $100 million per year. 

The three named plaintiffs have worked for GBI as non-exempt employees for from four to six years.  The complaint alleges that “Plaintiffs, United States citizens of Mexican descent, work grueling days for Defendants, loading their trucks with heavy equipment, traveling to job sites throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, working hard at the construction job sites, and then returning the trucks and equipment to the loading area in clean and working condition.  Yet Defendants, who publicly boast of beating their competitors’ lucrative construction bids, refuse to pay Plaintiffs for any of the hours that they work outside the official job site.  Moreover, Defendants routinely deny lunch and rest breaks to these construction workers, reducing the safety of the job site.”

“”It’s unfair that GBI isn’t paying these employees for hours worked and denying them lunch and other rest breaks,”” said plaintiffs’ co-counsel Elisa Stewart of Stewart & Musell in San Francisco.  “”GBI then tries to cover its tracks by requiring these workers to sign an English-language form that says all wages were paid and breaks provided before they collect their paychecks.””

According to the complaint, “Defendants attempt to evade their obligations under California law by having Plaintiffs sign “safety sheets” in English prior to receipt of their paychecks that falsely assert that all rest periods were provided and all wages were paid.  If Plaintiffs complain of these harsh and unfair conditions, Defendants retaliate by denying them work shifts, a mechanism that has effectively silenced opposition until now.”

The case is Ramirez v. Ghilotti Bros., Inc,. et. al., Alameda County Superior Court, Case # RG12636635.

For more information contact:

Gay Grunfeld, Rosen, Bien & Galvan, LLP, 415-433-6830

Elisa Stewart, Stewart & Musell LLP, 415-593-0083

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Rosen Bien & Galvan, LLP has a unique practice blending public interest and private sector litigation.  The firm represents individuals and companies in complex trial and appellate litigation in state & federal courts.  More information at

Stewart & Musell, LLP is a bicoastal law practice representing employees throughout California, Colorado, New York and New Jersey in civil rights cases including workplace discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful and retaliatory discharge cases.  Our attorneys also negotiate employment contracts as well as severance agreements for clients.