FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IR #2009-19
June 2, 2009

CONTACT:
Erika Monterroza
Dean Fryer
(415) 703-5050

Internet: www.dir.ca.gov


CA Labor Commissioner Files Suit to Close Down Nine Carwash Businesses

Los Angeles, CA— California Labor Commissioner Angela Bradstreet today pursued legal action to shut down nine carwash businesses across the state for failing to register with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement as required under California Labor Code section 2050. The Labor Commissioner filed a similar suit against a Sacramento based carwash business in April. Each of these ten carwash businesses was repeatedly cited by the Labor Commissioner’s Office for failure to register.

“These lawsuits have been filed against carwashes that continue to illegally operate without a registration, despite citations issued against them for multiple violations,” said California Labor Commissioner Angela Bradstreet. “This action is intended to send a clear and strong message to the carwash industry that we will not tolerate this illegal activity.”
 
Six of the lawsuits were filed today in Los Angeles County Superior Court, against the following businesses operating in Los Angeles: Jose Orlando Benitez, dba Galaxy Detailing Hand Car Wash; Francisco Ramirez, dba Javi’s Car Wash; Trimax Melrose, Inc. dba Melrose Car Wash; Auto Spa Express, Inc. dba Sunset Car Wash; Sahara Car Wash; and Neo Brothers, Inc. dba Lynwood Car Wash.

Two lawsuits were filed today in Santa Clara County Superior Court, against the following San Jose businesses: Zobeida Cabellero Zepeda, dba A & F Auto Detail; as well as partners Harvey Corral and Lorena Corral, dba Corral’s Auto Detail.

An additional lawsuit was filed today in San Francisco Superior Court against San Francisco Car Wash LLC, dba Winning Finish Car Wash. In April of this year, the Labor Commissioner filed a similar lawsuit in Sacramento County Superior Court against Sacramento employer Benigno Aguinaga Cervates dba Benny’s Car Wash.

Three similar lawsuits were filed last year: one in March against Sacramento carwash Scrub Boys who failed to properly register with the Labor Commissioner’s Office but eventually came into compliance after paying $10,000 in fines. The other two included a suit filed in May against M&M Car Bath in Sacramento for failure to register and a suit filed in December against Action Car Wash in San Diego which had a total of $28,000 in penalties outstanding for failure to register and failure to provide workers’ compensation for their employees.

Last year the Labor Commissioner’s Office issued 863 registrations compared to 642 in 2007, a 34% increase. Enforcement staff also inspected nearly one third of all carwash businesses registered with the Employment Development Department. A total of 576 carwash businesses were inspected and $3,835,972 in penalties issued against carwash businesses not in compliance with state laws.

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.  

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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