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Car washes accused of dirty dealings on worker pay, breaks

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in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

The state Office of the Attorney General has filed a lawsuit charging eight Southern California car washes with stiffing workers out of wages, failing to pay the minimum wage, reneging on overtime pay and denying legally mandated breaks.

The lawsuit also accuses the car washes of operating without appropriate licenses from the California Labor Commissioner.

The action follows a five-month investigation that included interviews with more than 80 workers. The state’s lawsuit seeks $6.6 million in back pay and penalties, and an injunction barring the Los Angeles County car washes from committing future wage violations. The lawsuit says a “single business enterprise” owns and operates the eight car washes.

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