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Crime / Online Exclusives

California carwashes called 'unconscionable' in attempt at arbitration

May 13, 2014
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LOS ANGELES — Employees of Lincoln Millennium Car Wash Inc. and Silver Wash Inc. sued on behalf of workers for “alleged wage-and hour violations,” according to Law 360.

The washes attempted to compel arbitration, but were rejected because the employment agreement was only partially translated into Spanish for employees who did not speak fluent English. The trial court refused to enforce the arbitration clause stating it was “unconscionable” due to the lack of translation and failure for the washes to explain it properly to employees.

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“The car wash companies hid the enforceability clause and the entire confidentiality subagreement by failing to translate that portion of the agreement into Spanish,” wrote Associate Justice Madeleine Flier in a document that was published Monday.

Jorge M. Castillo of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, said about the case: "Moving forward with the trial court gives these workers a public forum to demonstrate the rampant wage theft and labor abuses that have become commonplace in the carwash industry."

The win in court, the article notes, will now allow the plaintiffs to take their case to trial for labor law negotiations.

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