News Release

Former owners of Aromas market agree to pay $600K in wage theft case

Renu and Rajendra Vakharia to pay $416,339 in restitution and interest, and $202,000 in civil penalties.

Information provided by Monterey District Attorney


Monterey County District Attorney Jeannine Pacioni announced Renu and Rajendra Vakharia, the former owners of Old Firehouse Market in Aromas, entered into a stipulated judgment that resolves wage theft allegations and related labor code violations.

The Old Firehouse Market is located on Carpenteria Road, which separates San Benito and Monterey counties.

According to the release, the Vakharias will pay a total of $618,339 related to this action, which includes $416,339 in restitution and interest, and $202,000 in civil penalties.

“The complaint filed by the District Attorney alleged that the Vakharias failed to pay all wages due to their two former employees, including the appropriate minimum wage and overtime rate, failed to provide wage statements, and failed to obtain workers’ compensation insurance,” the release said.

It went on to state that the California Department of Industrial Relations (“DIR”) provides additional examples of wage theft, including not accruing or not being allowed to use paid sick leave; not being paid promised vacations or bonuses; not being allowed to take meal breaks, rest breaks, and/or preventative cool-down breaks; and owners or managers taking tips.

More information is available here.

BenitoLink Staff