LOS ANGELES – City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced that his office has filed a civil enforcement lawsuit against Silver Lake Car Wash, Inc. alleging the business routinely violated workers’ rights by failing to pay minimum wage and overtime, pay for all hours worked, and provide required breaks. The lawsuit is the result of a collaboration among the City Attorney’s Office, the California Department of Industrial Relations and Community Labor Environmental Action Network (CLEAN), a non-profit community organization that advocates for the rights of car wash workers and other low-wage workers in the Los Angeles area.
"Stealing wages from hard-working men and women, as we allege here, is reprehensible," said Feuer. "No employer should deny workers their basic rights to a minimum wage and overtime. Whether it’s truckers at the Port, home healthcare workers or car wash employees, my office will fight aggressively to protect workers' rights and ensure all workers are paid what the law demands."
"Unfortunately some employers choose to violate the rights of workers," said Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell. "I commend the City Attorney for stepping in, taking action, and sending a message that anything less than a minimum wage is unacceptable."
Silver Lake Car Wash, located at 3595 Beverly Boulevard, allegedly employs approximately 20 individuals at a time who work between the hours of 7:30 am and 6 pm. The lawsuit alleges that workers were paid as little as $6.50 per hour—far below the minimum wage—and not paid overtime. On days the car wash facility shut down early for lack of customers, employees were allegedly not paid anything if they worked less than five hours.
The lawsuit further alleges that Silver Lake Car Wash would falsify payroll records in order to under-report employee work hours and short their pay. The company would also allegedly fail to give rest or meal breaks. Additionally, the company allegedly did not provide proper safety equipment, forcing some workers to buy their own gloves and boots.
The City Attorney is seeking an injunction prohibiting Silver Lake Car Wash from continuing to engage in illegal employment practices as well as restitution on behalf of current and former employees who have been underpaid within the last four years.
Silver Lake Car Wash could also be assessed civil penalties up to $2,500 for each violation plus costs for the investigation.
Feuer asked other workers who may be the victims of wage theft to come forward and report it directly to his office by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 213-978-1868. Feuer emphasized that wage theft victims may report to his office anonymously.
Assistant City Attorney Michael Bostrom and Deputy City Attorneys Monica Castillo and Miguel Bahamon of Feuer’s Affirmative Litigation Unit are managing the litigation.