Professional Carwashing & Detailing

Department of Labor employee warns wash owners

June 12, 2012

SAN ANTONIO — A wash company here paid $246,438 in back wages to 308 employees following a thorough investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor, according to a news release.

The June 4 release stated that the department found violations of the minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping provisions at 34 of Vizza Wash LP’s carwash locations in and around San Antonio. Vizza Wash does business as Wash-Tub.

“The Department of Labor will pursue violators to the fullest extent to ensure total compliance with federal wage laws,” Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest, said in the release. “The affected workers in this case were among the most vulnerable employees that we see. Other employers in the carwash industry should take note and ensure that their payroll practices comply with the law.”

An investigation by the Department of Labor’s San Antonio District Office found that the Wash-Tub washes made illegal deductions from employees’ paychecks for uniforms, insurance claims and register shortages. This resulted in employees’ pay falling below federal minimum wage. Next, the company failed to pay the minimum wage to employees paid on a commission basis when the commissions earned did not equal at least $7.25 per hour.

Also, the company failed to pay overtime at time and one-half employees’ regular rates for hours worked over 40 in a week. Finally, the employer was cited for not recording all hours worked by employees as required.

Vizza Wash has agreed to fully comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act in the future, and the back wages have been paid in full, the release stated.