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WCA reaching out to carwashes impacted by surety bond increase

March 04, 2014
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FOLSOM, Calif. — On Jan. 1, California law changed from carwash owners needing to put down a $15,000 surety bond to one for the amount of $150,000, according to a press release.

Read also: WCA weighs in on California carwash surety bond increase

Many carwashes, especially smaller ones, are having a difficult time coming up with the money for the bond.

In the release, the WCA states that it “is currently in the process of working with lawmakers and other stakeholders in Sacramento on legislation to reduce the bond requirement while increasing penalties for operating outside of the law.”

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Sander Romick, chairperson of the legislative committee of the WCA agrees that employers who are not following the law in regards to worker treatment deserve to be punished. However, he thinks the law is punishing the wrong people. “Those that usually break labor laws and pay inadequate wages to their employees are unlikely to be bonded anyways,” he said.

Romick doesn’t believe all washes deserve to be punished because of those that don't follow the law. “Increasing the surety bond does not get at the heart of the problem and winds up punishing legitimate carwash businesses.”

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The organization is encouraging its members, and also non-members, to voice their opinions to lawmakers.

Below are some suggestions and talking points that the WCA encourages California car wash operators to use when contacting their representatives in both the California Assembly and Senate:

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  • Introduce yourself as a constituent who has been affected by last year's legislation, AB 1387, which increased the surety bond requirements for car washes by 1000%, from $15,000 to $150,000.
  • Feel free to share the impact this requirement has had on your business. Have you been able to secure a new bond? Has the premium increased? Has this affected any hiring decisions you’ve had to make thus far? Will this affect any decisions you need to make regarding current employees?
  • Let the office know that you support your employees and want bad-actors (car washes that operate outside the law) penalized but that last year's legislation targets those who are licensed instead of those who are not.  
  • Ask your legislator to contact Assemblyman Roger Hernandez regarding this issue and encourage him to work with the car wash industry on a new bill that makes sense for both workers and car wash operators.

To visit the WCA website, click here

To contact your California State Assembly and State Representative click here