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Attorney General Brown Files Lawsuit Against Eight California Car Washes for $6M

October 11, 2010

Last week, California Attorney General Jerry Brown filed a $6.6 million lawsuit against the owners of eight Southern California car washes, for the alleged pattern of comprehensive worker exploitation.

This lawsuit stems from a five-month investigation of eight car washes located in Irvine, California, as well as Laguna Hills, Santa Monica, Venice, Folsom, and Fair Oaks. Over 80 employees of the car washes told investigators that they were regularly denied minimum wage and overtime compensation, meal and rest breaks, were forced to deal with falsified workers' records, and the withholding of wages owed to workers who were either fired, or who quit.

Employees also claimed that they were frequently told to report to work, where they would have to wait until business picked up, without being paid. Often workers' paychecks reportedly could not be cashed because of the company's lack of funds. The car washes also reportedly operated for years without proper licenses from the Labor Commissioner.

As our Santa Ana employment attorneys read in the Attorney General's press release, Brown's lawsuit seeks $6.6 million in lost wages and civil penalties from Dipu Haque Sikder, who reportedly launched the operation, as well as an injunction to prevent the defendants from similar wage and hour violations in the future.

Brown originally named the Sikder family in the press release, who own Koi, a high-end Hollywood celebrity restaurant, confusing them with Dipu Haque, or Dipu Haque Sikder as the owner of the car washes who allegedly systematically denied wages, overtime pay, and meal and rest breaks to workers. The story made headline news, as Brown accused the Sikders of running a celebrity restaurant that makes millions of dollars while allegedly underpaying workers. Koi issued a press release today stating that the owners of Koi have nothing to do with the car washes.

In cities throughout Orange County, California and Southern California, contact our Anaheim wage and hour attorneys at Howard Law, PC today.

Brown Files $6-Million Lawsuit Against Eight Car Washes For Failing to Pay Workers, Office of the Attorney General Jerry Brown, October 4, 2010

Oops: Jerry Brown's Office F'd Up, Wrongly Implicated Owners of Koi Restaurant In Alleged Worker Exploitation At Car Washes, LA Weekly, October 11, 2010

Carwash Owners Sued by State for $6.6 Million for Allegedly Exploiting Workers, The Los Angeles Times, October 4, 2010

AG Brown Files $6M Lawsuit Against Car Wash Owners, KPCV Radio, October 4, 2010

Related Web Resources:

Department of Labor (DOL): Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR): The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, (DSLE)