LOS ANGELES — According to The Orange County Register, Vahid David Delrahim, a Southern California carwash mogul who had been accused of cheating more than 800 workers out of pay and destroying evidence, will pay $4.2 million in back wages and penalties following a two-year court battle with the U.S. Department of Labor.
Delrahim failed to pay his workers minimum wage or overtime at the dozen carwashes he owns in Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Ventura counties, the U.S. Department of Labor claimed.
U.S. District Court Judge Fernando Olguin approved a consent decree requiring Delrahim to pay $1.9 million in back wages, a further $1.9 million in damages as well as a fine of $400,000 of civil penalties, the article continued.
“This landmark case sends a powerful message that the Department of Labor will use strong law enforcement and litigation tools to protect employees and level the playing field for law-abiding employers,” said Juan Coria, the wage and hour division’s acting regional commissioner.
According to the judgment, Delrahim had ordered his employees, many of whom were Spanish-speaking and unfamiliar with U.S. labor laws, to work off the clock at the beginning of each shift and to clock out while business was slow but still remain at the carwashes, the article noted.
Employees will receive back wages from 2013 to the present, the article stated, although more money may still be added to the case, as “the identity of all employees who worked [at the 12 carwashes] is presently unknown,” the 42-page decree stated.
Some employees will receive more than $10,000 in back wages as a result, the article continued.
“We made a business decision to end the civil litigation,” Delrahim’s public relations firm said in a statement. “Our decision did not admit any wrongdoing on our part but will enable the leaders and employees of our business to focus their time and effort on business instead of a costly civil trial.”
Read the original article here.