Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
NEW YORK -- Phenomena Wash LTD, doing business as Savvy Car Wash in Brooklyn, and Glen Oak Enterprises, doing business as Hand Car Wash 2000 in Queens, along with corporate officer Arthur Stein, have agreed to pay 58 employees a total of $219,985 in overtime back wages and interest to resolve a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor alleging violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The defendants must also pay an $8,134 civil money penalty.
The Labor Departmentís suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York following an investigation by the departmentís Wage and Hour Division that disclosed violations of the FLSAís overtime and recordkeeping provisions at the two car wash locations.
The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage as well as time and one-half their regular rates of pay for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Additionally, the law requires that accurate records of employeesí wages, hours and other conditions of employment be maintained, and prohibits retaliation against employees who exercise their rights under the law.
ďWhen employees, especially low-wage workers such as we found in this case, are deprived of their rightful wages, employers should be aware that we will not hesitate to take legal action to recover those back wages if necessary,Ē said Philip Jacobson, director of the Wage and Hour Divisionís district office in New York City.
A consent judgment signed by Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto prohibits the defendants from future violations of the FLSAís minimum wage, overtime, recordkeeping and anti-retaliation provisions. It orders the companies and Stein to pay the back wages, with interest, covering the period between June 1, 2005, and March 31, 2008. The defendants agreed to entry of the judgment while neither admitting nor denying the allegations contained in the departmentís suit.
If the defendants fail to make any of the payments, the court will appoint a receiver with power to seize and liquidate their assets to satisfy the order. They are also ordered to advise employees, in Spanish and English, of their rights under the FLSA, in particular their right to engage in protected activity without fear of retaliation. Finally, the defendants must post official posters explaining employee rights under the FLSA where all employees may view them.
The Wage and Hour Division is attempting to locate several workers who are no longer employed by the car washes to pay them the back wages they are due. Individuals who believe they are due back wages as part of this settlement should contact the divisionís Brooklyn Area Office at 718-254-9410.
The Labor Departmentís Wage and Hour Division office in Manhattan investigated this case, and the suit was filed by the departmentís Regional Solicitorís Office in Manhattan. For more information about the requirements of the FLSA, contact the Wage and Hour Division office in Manhattan at 212-264-8185 or call the Department of Laborís toll-free helpline at 866-US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available on the Internet at www.wagehour.dol.gov.
Chao v. Glen Oak Enterprises et al; Civil Action Number: 08-CV-5189
The Labor Departmentís Wage and Hour Division office in Manhattan investigated this case, and the suit was filed by the departmentís Regional Solicitorís Office in New York City. For more information about the requirements of the FLSA, contact the Wage and Hour Division office in Manhattan at 212-264-8185 or call the Department of Laborís toll-free helpline at 866-US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available on the Internet at www.wagehour.dol.gov.
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