Car wash and auto lube operators in Westchester County and New York City have agreed to pay employees $3.4 million in back wages and damages to settle a U.S. Labor Department lawsuit.
The case was filed after federal investigators found that the businesses violated government rules covering minimum wage, overtime and employee recordkeeping, according to the labor department.
A total of 1,187 current and former employees of the car washes and auto lube businesses are eligible for payments under the settlement.“This case should be a loud wake up call to other employers of vulnerable workers that the U.S. Department of Labor will not hesitate to pursue them in federal court in order to compel them to pay employees properly for all hours worked,” Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis said in a written statement. “Employers must be aware of their obligation to comply with all federal labor laws, and we are here to make sure that they do.”
Two Westchester companies will make payments under the settlement, according to the labor department—- 613 Car Wash Corp. of New Rochelle and Lage Management Corp. of Pelham Manor. Representaives of neither business could be reached for comment.
The other comanies listed in the settlement are Atlantic Auto Care Center Inc. of Brooklyn; 109th & First Avenue Corp. of Manhattan; 3808 Boston Road Car Wash Inc., 2434 CW Corp. and Boulevard Car Wash of N.Y. Inc., all of the Bronx; and Michael’s Car Wash Inc. and Howard Beach Car Wash Corp., both of Queens.
The labor department said that earlier judgements in the case resulted in the recovery of more than $1.3 million in back wages, damages and interest for more than 200 employees.
The Labor Department said it is trying to locate several workers who are no longer employed by the businesses to pay them the back wages that they are owed. Workers who believe they are due back wages as part of the settlement should contact the New York district office at 212-264-8185.
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