Los Angeles, CA (WorkersCompensation.com) - The California Labor Commissioner's Office last week cited car wash businesses in the Los Angeles area more than $1.3 million for wage theft following a two-day enforcement activity.
The majority of the violations were found at 35 car wash businesses that failed to register with the Labor Commissioner's Office, as required by law. The inspections uncovered numerous violations of state wage and hour laws affecting nearly 400 workers.
“These citations serve as a reminder that wage theft will not be tolerated. The Labor Commissioner's office targets its enforcement efforts on employers who intentionally skirt the law,” said Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), which oversees the Labor Commissioner's Office.
The 35 unregistered car wash businesses reflect a significant drop in registration from 2013 to 2014.
“When car wash businesses fail to register, it is often an indicator of wage theft. We are also following up with some of the inspected car washes to conduct full wage audits,” said Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su. “We want to make sure car wash workers are paid what they are owed and that employers who follow the law know we are on their side.”
Violations cited included the failure to pay workers minimum wage and overtime, which resulted in $412,200 in penalties and $308,584 in liquidated damages. An additional 17 violations with citations totaling $218,000 were issued to employers who did not carry workers' compensation insurance coverage.