Tragically, wage theft is a common practice across many parts of America. For employees that rely on their paychecks to survive, it can have devastating effects.
Recently, a car wash owner in California was found paying employees around $4.5 per hour for shifts lasting almost 12 hours. Sadly, it was not the first time California had encountered this type of situation.
According to the recent lawsuit, the owner of two California car washes recently agreed to pay over 1 million dollars in damages for wage and hour violations. The owner consistently failed to pay employees for overtime hours or break periods during their shifts. Additionally, the owner did not reimburse employees for necessary gear and equipment to do their job, including waterproof footwear and gloves to protect their hands. While they struggled for years, over 50 employees will now share in the award.
This summer, a California court required another owner of a chain of car washes to pay over $4 million in damages to employees. According to U.S. News, the owner was responsible for paying unfair wages to over 800 people. Employees claimed the owner forced them to clock out during slow times of the day and did not pay them for overtime hours.
Employers must comply with state and federal laws concerning overtime pay, breaks and uniform reimbursement. Federal law requires that minimum wage in the United States is at least $7.25 per hour. However, to keep up with costs of living, some state laws require employers to pay even more. Under California law, employers with over 26 employees must pay over $11 per hour.
If your employer is in employment laws, consider filing a lawsuit to seek the compensation you deserve.