FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IR #2010-14
May 17, 2010

CONTACT:
Krisann Chasarik
Erika Monterroza
415-703-5050

Internet: www.dir.ca.gov


CA Labor Commissioner issues $700,000 in citations during enforcement of carwash industry

San Francisco—Investigators from the California Labor Commissioner’s Office issued over $700,000 in fines to businesses in the car wash industry in a two day statewide enforcement sweep. The penalties included a total of $500,100 issued to 65 unlicensed carwash businesses that were cited for not having a registration.

“Registration requirements provide safeguards for businesses that operate within the law by allowing us to focus on those businesses do not, making it difficult for legitimate carwash businesses to stay in operation,” said California Labor Commissioner Angela Bradstreet. “The requirements also provide added protections for workers in the industry as we can better monitor businesses that are not following the laws.”

The two day enforcement sweep involved 247 car wash inspections and resulted in the issuance of 129 citations against 96 car wash businesses with citations issued totaling $771,050.  
Investigators found 54 businesses that failed to provide workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. Citations issued for no workers’ compensation totaled $238,000 and businesses without coverage were issued stop work orders, which prevents them from operating with employee labor.

Also found during the investigations were 6 cases where the employer did not provide employees a wage deduction statement, one case of improper payment of minimum wage and one case of improper payment of overtime. Two businesses were found to have hired minors without having the required work permits on file.

“The law requiring carwash businesses to be registered was extended to 2014 allowing us to better monitor situations where we have traditionally seen labor violations,” added Bradstreet. “As part of the underground economy, illegal businesses often do not pay state taxes and take advantage of employees by not providing workers’ compensation coverage or paying proper wages.

For the year 2009, enforcement efforts resulted in 623 car wash establishment inspections/re-inspections and the issuance of 469 citations for violations of various labor laws including non-registration and penalty assessments in the amount of $3,098,050.  In addition, $311,325 was collected on behalf of workers as wages due.

To request a list of the violations and businesses cited during the enforcement action, email the Department of Industrial Relations at: Communications@dir.ca.gov. A list of all car wash businesses currently registered with the State is available on DIR’s website at the following link: http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/HowToObtainCarWashRegistration.htm.

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 with work-related questions or complaints, including heat illness, may call the California Workers’ Information Hotline at (866) 924-9757.

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