IR #2009-13
May 5, 2009

Erika Monterroza
Dean Fryer
(415) 703-5050


CA Labor Commissioner Issues over $770,000 in Fines
Following Statewide Car Wash Enforcement

San Francisco, CA Investigators from the California Labor Commissioner’s Office issued over $770,000 in fines to businesses in the car wash industry for numerous labor law violations during a statewide enforcement effort last week.

“Our efforts are directed at illegally operating carwash businesses as part of the underground economy,” said California Labor Commissioner Angela Bradstreet. “These underground operations do not provide the protection workers are legally afforded, have a negative impact on our state’s economy and an unfair advantage over competitors who do follow the law.”
A total of 40 investigators conducted 231 inspections in 29 counties across the state on April 29 and 30.  The inspections revealed that 66 of the 88 employers cited failed to register or renew registration of their car wash business with the state.
One half of the businesses cited, a total of 44 businesses, further failed to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Other violations cited included cash payment rather than providing employees with an itemized wage deduction statement or paystub; failure to pay minimum wage and failure to provide work permits for minors.

“All businesses must provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees,” Bradstreet said.  “If they continue to operate without the proper coverage, we will refer the case to the local district attorney’s office for possible criminal prosecution.”

To request a list of the violations and businesses cited during the enforcement action, email the Department of Industrial Relations: A list of all car wash businesses currently registered with the State is available on DIR’s website at the following link:

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

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

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