The California Labor Commissioner’s Office recovered greater than $282,000 for wage theft violations affecting 22 automotive wash employees in Long Beach, who weren’t paid for the time they were on premises. The employees were reportedly not paid additional time or minimum wages.
An investigation into Classic Castle Automobile Wash Inc., which operates Klassic Automobile Wash & Detail Center and Castle Carwash in Long Beach, reportedly found some employees were forced to attend up to 3 hours before clocking in, while others were only paid for hours once they performed automotive wash duties and were asked to stay onsite without pay when it wasn’t busy.
The $282,000 recovered pays employees roughly $229,000 for the additional time and minimum wages, liquidated damages and waiting time penalties owed. One other $53,000 in civil penalties will go to the state.
The monies were secured after a lien on real property was filed by the Labor Commissioner’s Office on Classic Castle Automobile Wash, Inc.
The Labor Commissioner’s Office opened its investigation into Classic Castle Automobile Wash in 2017 following a referral from the CLEAN Automobile Wash Campaign. The citations issued in 2017 for wage theft violations totaled $370,644. Classic Castle Automobile Wash Inc. appealed the citations, and a notice of finding issued by the hearing officer amended the whole citations resulting from $241,641 on Dec. 4, 2020. Classic Castle Automobile Wash, Inc. made payments on the citation totaling $54,272.93 from 2017 to 2020 but eventually stopped making payments.
After a judgment was entered for the case at the tip of 2021, employees learned that the business was going to be sold and reported this to the CLEAN Carwash Employee Center, which informed the Labor Commissioner’s Office. On June 17, the Labor Commissioner’s Office recorded a certificate of lien after the enforcement lien bill went into effect in 2022. Classic Castle Automobile Wash, Inc. had been named within the citations, so the Labor Commissioner’s Office was in a position to file a lien on the owner’s real property to make sure employees were paid.
One month later, the Labor Commissioner received payment on the Classic Castle Automobile Wash citations.