A car wash in California is learning that attempting to steal workers’ wages can be expensive. The fact is that the operator of a car wash in Southern California has been forced to pay $202,192 in back wages and damages to thirteen workers. Who apparently had not been properly paid for overtime hours worked, following a federal investigation into this matter.


What Exactly Happened to the Workers at this California Car Wash?

The case occurred at the Rancho Carwash * car wash, where according to a federal investigation, the company did not adequately pay its workers for overtime hours. Then he would try to mask the illegal wages practices he was carrying out.

Consequently, a federal investigation has recovered this amount of money for back wages and damages for these thirteen workers of this car wash in California. In addition to this, a federal investigation found illegal practices and that this company was committing other violations of federal law.

In the California car wash investigation, investigators with the US Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division found that MG Petroleum Inc., the operating company of Rancho Carwash, includes a gas station, convenience store, and car wash in the town of Rancho.

Cucamonga, tried to hide his illegal actions by giving two checks every payday: one for the first 40 hours worked, and a second check to pay for overtime. But he paid these at the ordinary time rate, without adding to this pay the extra percentage that must be paid for overtime, as legally established.

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What Other Irregularities Did the Investigation Find at the California Car Wash?

The investigation carried out at the MG Petroleum company also found that the company required workers to suspend the allotted time for their meal *, if it was necessary to serve a customer who arrived at that time. Although in practice this meant that the car wash worker in California did not take the uninterrupted hour break that he was supposed to have for lunch, the company still deducted this time that the employee had reportedly used as an uninterrupted break. to eat. By doing this, the employer was in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The research resulted in the company having to pay $101,096 in back wages. In addition, the company had to pay an equal amount, that is, another $101,096 to these workers, for liquidated damages for the affected workers.

According to statements by Wage and Hour Division Assistant District Director Gayane Aleksanian in West Covina, CA “Federal law requires employers to pay workers their full hard-earned wages, including overtime pay for hours employees work beyond 40 hours in a work week,” it further added. “The Rancho Carwash operator denied workers overtime pay and then tried to hide its illegal pay practices. The costly consequences for its violations and its attempt to evade the law are now clear.”

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Have Cases Similar to This Occurred at the Car Wash in California?

The case of the Rancho Carwash carwash is apparently not the only case in which a company pays its workers less for overtime. According to Aleksanian’s report, in fiscal year 2021, the Wage and Hour Division recovered more than $138 million in unpaid overtime wages for more than 145,000 employees.

And the deputy district director of the Wage Division continued, “As employers continue to struggle to find the people they need to run their businesses, those who respect workers’ rights to full wages and prevent violations have more likely to be successful in retaining and recruiting.” employees,”

What can you do if you feel you are not being paid correctly for your time working?

A worker who feels that he is not being paid adequately for his time can call his state’s Wage and Hour Division confidentially if he has questions. It is also reported that this department receives inquiries in multiple languages, so language will not be a problem.

To obtain more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, a worker can raise a question about the payment of her wages by contacting the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). .

There she can get more information about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool she can use, in case she thinks that, like what happened at the car wash in California, she’s owed back wages. In this way, the division assists in the application of the FLSA, ensuring that the hours worked and the payment are correct, through the application of time sheets, which can be received free of charge for the individual to make their own calculations.

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