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$2.6 million lawsuit could clean out L.A. car wash

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in Compensation and Benefits,Employee Benefits Program,Employment Law,Human Resources

As part of a wider crackdown on companies that violate worker protection laws, California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. filed a lawsuit alleging that a Los Angeles car wash failed to pay minimum wage and overtime to its employees and denied them workers’ compensation benefits.

Brown filed the suit in Los Angeles Superior Court, seeking $2.6 million against Auto Spa Express, its owner and a company that recently took over operation of the car wash.

The lawsuit alleges that employees didn’t receive the minimum wage and sometimes didn’t get paid at all if there were no customers. It also alleges that Auto Spa Express didn’t pay overtime and failed to provide accurate itemized statements of wages and hours to its workers.

According to Brown, the car wash often paid employees in cash so it could avoid paying into the state’s unemployment insurance fund or withholding state taxes.

The complaint is seeking $630,000 in unpaid wages, and $2 million in penalties for violating California’s Unfair Business Act.

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