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Former Car Wash Worker Awarded $80K Over Wage and Hour Violations

June 30, 2011

A former Los Angeles, California car wash employee reportedly won an $80,000 wage and hour lawsuit recently, according to the Los Angeles Times, after the worker accused the company of failing to pay him for hours that he was forced to work prior to clocking in to his actual job.

In a related California Employment Lawyers blog post, our attorneys discussed the prevalence of worker exploitation in Southern California car washes. In October of last year, California Governor Jerry Brown (then Attorney General) filed a $6.6 million lawsuit against the owners of eight car washes in Southern California, after a five-month investigation found that employees were regularly denied minimum wage and overtime compensation, rest and meal breaks, and were forced to falsify their records, along with being forced to show up to work and only receive compensation when business picked up.

In the Los Angeles wage and hour lawsuit, Tomas Rodriquez reportedly filed a lawsuit last October against Handy J Carwash, claiming that he and his co-workers had their hours cut after the owners brought in other employees who worked for tips only. Rodriguez, who is from Hidalgo, Mexico, claimed that after asking for proper compensation, the owners intimidated workers with threats of job loss and calling immigration officials. The other eight workers who were involved in the suit reportedly dropped out due to alleged intimidation.

In 2008, a Los Angeles Times investigation found that two-thirds of Southern California carwashes were out of compliance with one or more state labor laws between 2003 and 2008--the worst record in the state's low wage industries, according to state regulators. The carwash owners were found to often violate immigration laws and labor laws by hiring illegal immigrants and minors and paying them far below the minimum wage, failing to give them workman's compensation insurance and meal breaks, and sometimes forcing them to work for only tips.

In cities throughout Orange County, California and Southern California, contact Howard Law, PC today.

Ex-carwash worker wins $80,000 lawsuit over labor violations, Los Angeles Times, June 23, 2011

Related Web Resources:

U.S. Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Related Blog Posts:

Mexican Restaurants To Pay Over $1M in Back Wages and Overtime, California Employment Lawyers Blog, June 1, 2011

Attorney General Brown Files Lawsuit Against Eight California Car Washes for $6M, California Employment Lawyers Blog, October 11, 2010