Six car wash workers in the Los Angeles area were finally given the pay they deserved after a commissioner ruled they were owed back wages. The six individuals together received about $360,000 in the claim. LA West Media reported about the ruling earlier this month following a decision and press release from California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Suh.
Suh said that the workers were not only denied pay for hours worked, they were also denied lunch breaks and did not receive overtime pay. None of the workers received a final paycheck. Suh determined just how much each of the workers was likely owed by estimating the hours worked daily and the hourly rate they earned. The six workers, from two different car washes, worked between 10 and 12 hours a day but only received about $3.50 to $5.40 an hour.
“Car wash workers frequently are subjected to wage theft, and my office
has focused its efforts on holding employers accountable and returning owed
wages to workers,” Su said. “This case shows that when workers come forward
and report workplace violations, they can win back the wages they were owed,
recover additional penalties, and expose illegal practices.”
The workers were paid back wages through a fund established in California that pools money from other car wash owners. It’s called the Car Wash Worker Restitution Fund and over the last three years the fund has doled out $2.5 million to 112 workers.