The Silver Lake Car Wash has been sued by the Los Angeles City Attorneys Office for various wage and worker's rights abuses. Photo from Pixabay.
The Silver Lake Car Wash has been sued by the Los Angeles City Attorneys Office for various wage and worker’s rights abuses. Photo from Pixabay.

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer Thursday announced a lawsuit against a local car wash business, which he accused of routinely violating workers’ rights by failing to pay minimum wage and overtime, pay for all hours worked and provide required breaks.

“Stealing wages from hard-working workers, just to line your own pockets, is reprehensible, and we’re going to stand up against it wherever we allege it is happening,” Feuer said.

The lawsuit against Silver Lake Car Wash Inc. at 3595 Beverly Blvd., near the Silver Lake neighborhood, is the result of a collaboration between Feuer’s office, the California Department of Industrial Relations and the Community Labor Environmental Action Network, a nonprofit community organization that advocates for the rights of car wash workers and other low- wage earners in the Los Angeles area.

No one with Silver Lake Car Wash could be immediately reached for comment.

“Unfortunately some employers choose to violate the rights of workers,” said City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, who represents the Silver Lake area. “I commend the city attorney for stepping in, taking action, and sending a message that anything less than a minimum wage is unacceptable.”

The lawsuit alleges that Silver Lake Car Wash employs about 20 people who were paid as little as $6.50 per hour, which is well below the minimum wage. Feuer’s office also alleges workers were not paid overtime, and that they were not paid anything if they worked less than five hours on days the car wash shut down early for lack of customers.

The lawsuit also alleges that the car wash’s operator would falsify payroll records in order to underreport employee work hours and short their pay, failed to give rest or meal breaks, and  did not provide proper safety equipment, which forced some workers to buy their own gloves and boots.

Feuer’s office is seeking an injunction prohibiting the business from continuing to engage in the alleged illegal employment practices, and restitution for current and former employees who have allegedly been underpaid within the last four years. The business could also be assessed civil penalties up to $2,500 for each alleged violation, plus costs for the investigation.

–City News Service

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