Managing a property often times means solving unpredictable problems at odd hours.
Scoti Blesie, a handyman for a San Jose apartment building, found himself fixing leaks or repairing damage from break-ins at all hours. On many occasions, he would receive calls in the middle of the night. The work piled up, but the pay allegedly did not.
“We’re basically like indentured servants because of our dedication to the people here,” Blesie said.
Blesie worked with his partner, Dar Enz, to take care of MetroWalk apartments, a residential complex in downtown San Jose, for almost five years. They agreed to work 20 hours a week in order to live on the premises, but the couple claims they worked more than double that — and allege that one of the property owners, Mike Bauer, failed to pay them for the extra time.
Fearing retaliation, the couple reported the alleged wage theft with the help of a tenant to San Jose’s Office of Equality Assurance in January 2019, which enforces the city’s minimum wage policies. But Enz and Blesie have been waiting more than a year for a resolution — though the city office confirmed violations occurred.
It took the office more than 14 months to issue a Notice of Violation to Bauer on April 27.