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car wash news, employee relations

NYC ‘Washeros’ Bill Expected To Pass City Council, Raising Restrictions on Car Wash Businesses

Workers demanded an increase in the minimum wage, among other things, in New York City in May 2014.

Workers demanded an increase in the minimum wage, among other things, in New York City in May 2014.

Last year’s $3.9-million settlement from the lawsuit alleging car wash owner John Lage cheated workers out of pay and overtime at his 21 locations in New York City is expected to precipitate the passage of a bill aimed at curbing abuse and raising restrictions on the local car wash industry.

After two years of delays, City Council is expected to pass a bill that would require car wash owners to be licensed every two years, meet minimum environmental standards and obtain a $150,000 bond to operate. The Department of Consumer Affairs would issue the license every two years for $550. The details of the proposed bill are laid out in an article by Capital New York.

The bill comes at a time when labor unions in the city are working to secure more labor contracts with workers at various car washes. Supporters of the bill say it will help reform the industry where employees often work for poor wages.

The $150,000 bond requirement will protect car wash owners from wage theft claims or damages to vehicles. The environmental aspect of the bill will require that owners disclose what types of chemicals they use in their operations as well as how much water they draw from public sources. Permits would be required for well water. A vote will be taken Wednesday.

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