California Labor Commissioner Cites Car Wash $900K for Wage Theft
The California Labor Commissioner’s office cited Shine N Brite Car Wash $908,998 for wage theft violations affecting 15 workers.
The Los Angeles-based employer was cited for minimum wage, overtime and rest break violations.
An investigation reportedly showed that workers, who worked eight-to-10-hour days, were paid a flat daily rate as low as $70. Workers who complained to the employer for wage theft and safety issues faced retaliation, including dismissal or reduced hours, according to the Labor Commissioner’s office.
“These workers were paid as low as $7 an hour, which is unconscionable,” Labor Commissioner Lilia García-Brower said in a statement. “This employer used different schemes to avoid paying legal wages, such as paying flat daily rates, and paying workers in cash. These practices are unlawful, and we will pursue all owed wages.”
In June 2020, the Labor Commissioner’s Office opened an investigation into Shine N Brite Car Wash following a referral from the CLEAN Car Wash Campaign. An audit of payroll records reportedly determined the employer failed to pay workers for all hours worked and did not provide workers with required meal and rest breaks.
The citations, penalties and interest issued total $908,998, of which $818,548 is payable to workers for unpaid minimum wages and overtime, liquidated damages, waiting time penalties, meal and rest period premiums, wage statement damages and accrued interest. Individual workers are owed between $15,766 and $92,246.
The citations issued to Danmike Corp., Emunahahavah Corp. and Michael Zarabi DBA Shine N Brite also include civil penalties of $90,450 for failing to pay minimum wages, overtime, and meal and rest premiums.
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