In the modern job market, many people are grateful simply to be employed. This appreciation can sometimes cultivate a workplace atmosphere where employers feel emboldened to take advantage of employees. There are laws against doing this, but it still occurs in many workplaces which may lead employees to file varying wage and hour claims against employers. Recently, a car wash here in California was fined more than $2 million for what authorities say were wage theft violations.
The car wash in question allegedly failed to pay minimum wage and overtime pay to 64 workers. Representatives for the workers also say they were forced to pay for their own towels to use while on the job without any reimbursement. The two joint owners and the car wash's parent company were deemed liable by the California Labor Commission.
Authorities claim that some employees were forced to work for up to 10 hours a day without overtime pay. They also reported that employees were required to show up to work but then may not be allowed to work that particular day. The bulk of the fine will go back to the employees, including money that will be meant to reimburse them for the towels they purchased. A California nonprofit alerted the Labor Commission to the potential abuses. Labor representatives say that wage violations are all too common in low-paying jobs like those at a car wash.
Those who feel that they have received similar treatment from an employer may feel as though they have no recourse. However, an experienced employment law attorney can explain available options to employees who are considering wage and hour claims like this one. Workers across industries deserve fair treatment and proper payment for completed work is just one of their rights.