The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit against Happy Hands Car Wash in Santa Ana, seeking back wages and liquidated damages. A Wage and Hour Division investigation found the car wash was manipulating its payroll records in order to underpay employees.
Happy Hands’ computer-based timekeeping program required employees to swipe a magnetic card to register their work start and stop times. Most employees worked over 40 hours per week. However, the car wash manipulated the records to indicate substantially fewer hours worked. With the alteration of the records, it appeared that the employees were paid correctly; in reality, they earned less than $3.50 per hour.
The lawsuit seeks an award for minimum wage and overtime compensation, plus an equal amount in liquidated damages.