FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IR #2008-68
November 19, 2008

CONTACT:
Erika Monterroza
Dean Fryer
(415) 703-5050
Internet: www.dir.ca.gov


California Labor Commissioner secures $450,000 in unpaid wages for carwash workers

Los Angeles—Sixty workers at a Redondo Beach carwash will receive $450,000 in unpaid wages, thanks to a settlement reached in a lawsuit against the carwash by the California Labor Commissioner on the workers’ behalf.

The Bruno Scherrer Corporation dba Hollywood Riviera shorted their employees’ earned wages and intentionally failed to record employee total work hours. This deceptive practice resulted in payment of sub-minimum wage to the carwash employees. 

“Employees must be fully paid for all hours that they work,” said Labor Commissioner Angela Bradstreet. “Businesses are required by law to keep accurate records showing when the employee begins and ends each work shift and properly compensate for those hours.”

An investigation was launched by the Labor Commissioner’s office in October 2006. The investigation revealed that Hollywood Riviera carwash had been paying employees minimum wage for as little as 3 to 4 hours of work then requiring them to finish out the day by being paid tips only. This resulted in significant violations of minimum wage laws.  In September 2007 the Labor Commissioner filed a lawsuit against Hollywood Riviera in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of the sixty workers.

“Clearly this case reveals a deplorable situation where employees were being taken advantage of by not being paid their proper wage,” said Bradstreet. “This case is an excellent example of why we register carwash companies in California.”

In 2003, the California legislature passed AB 1688 establishing a registration system for all carwash and polishing businesses. Known also as the Carwash Worker Law under Labor Code Sections 2050-2067, the law protects the well being of employees in the car washing and polishing industry.

Illegal cash pay, child labor violations and failure to provide workers’ compensation to their employees are some of the common violations found in the carwash industry according to Bradstreet.

The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement adjudicates wage claims, investigates discrimination and public works complaints, and enforces state labor law and Industrial Welfare Commission wage orders. To learn more about the functions of the California Labor Commissioner, visit our web site at www.dir.ca.gov/dlse.  

Employees that have work-related questions or complaints can call the California Workers’ Information Hotline at 1-866-924-9757.

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