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Builders settle lawsuit for $8.5 million

Immigrants allegedly forced to work 'off the clock'

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Nearly 3,100 construction workers in California are eligible to claim a share of an $8.5 million settlement of a class-action lawsuit alleging they were forced to work "off the clock" and weren't paid for travel time, overtime and breaks.Most of the workers were Latino, according to the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, which represented the workers along with the law firms Sullivan Taketa LLP and Lewis, Feinberg, Lee, Renaker & Jackson P.C.California Attorney General Jerry Brown told the Sacramento Bee that during the housing boom some construction firms tried to gain a competitive advantage by cheating immigrant workers, putting "downward pressure" on wages. The Bee said some of the workers were undocumented and that employers often exploit such workers because they are afraid to assert their rights.Attorneys representing the workers will claim one quarter of the settlement, or $2.13 million, as fees. After other expenses are paid, about $6 ...