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California car washes agree to pay workers back wages

January 10, 2012 |  1:12 pm

Photo: State Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris. Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles TimesA group of car washes in Northern and Southern California that allegedly underpaid workers and routinely denied them breaks will pay more than $1 million in restitution for unpaid wages and civil penalties, state officials said Tuesday.

“Workers at these car washes were taken advantage of by unscrupulous employers who illegally denied them the pay and benefits they earned,” said State Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris. “The resolution of this case will allow workers to receive the pay they are owed.” 

The suits were filed against car washes in Santa Monica, Venice, San Ramon, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Irvine, Folsom and Fair Oaks in October 2010.

In a statement describing the legal settlement, officials said investigators found the car washes “routinely denied workers minimum wage and overtime, failed to pay wages owed to those who quit or were terminated, denied rest and meal breaks, and created false records of time worked.”

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Photo: State Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris. Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times

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