New York Area Car Washes Agree to Pay Employees $3.4 Million for Wage Violations

Several New York City and area car washes, together with their corporate president, have agreed to pay 1,187 current and former employees a total of $3.4 million, reflecting back pay and liquidated damages in order to resolve a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The agreement incorporates a final partial consent judgment. Prior to this agreement, the New York car washes had already agreed to pay $1,348,489 in back wages, liquidated damages, and interest for over 200 employees of the New York car washes’ related corporations. Thus, the lawsuit filed in the Southern District of New York has resulted in a total recovery of over $4.7 million for more than 1,200 employees.
According to the Secretary of Labor, Hilda L. Solis, who commented on the New York FLSA dispute, “[t]his 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.”
In addition to the FLSA, the New York Labor Law requires employers to pay the minimum wage and overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. In addition, the New York minimum wage rate is currently higher than that required under the FLSA.

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