NEW YORK — According to www.amsterdamnews.com, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a lawsuit in the New York Supreme Court against Tropical Breeze Car Wash managers Philip Gmuer and Gregory Gmuer, owner Benno Gmuer and U.S. Auto Wash, L.L.C., which does business as Tropical Breeze Car Wash, over accusations of wage theft.
The business is accused of cheating over 150 of their minimum wage carwash workers out of $500,000 in wages and $30,000 in benefits, the article continued.
Furthermore, the article added, Schneiderman claimed that the company also didn’t pay its proper share of workers’ compensation contributions and unemployment insurance; as such, he is seeking nearly $1.6 million in damages.
“We’re taking them to court and seeking to recover every penny of unpaid wages for these workers, plus damages and penalties for the company’s egregious conduct,” said Schneiderman in a statement. “Unscrupulous employers should hear our message loud and clear: If you exploit workers, we will see you in court — and make sure that you pay every worker every dollar they’re owed.”
In addition, Schneiderman accused Tropical Breeze of failing to maintain proper employee records and illegally managing the payroll system for “on-the-books” and “off-the-books” employees, the latter of whom make up a majority of the business’ staff, the article noted.
Furthermore, the attorney general stated that Tropical Breeze didn’t give its employees information about their rate of pay, wage notices and pay statements, the article stated.
Moreover, the article continued, Schneiderman accused Tropical Breeze of filing official documents that underreported its employee count and payroll expenditures in order to avoid paying full unemployment insurance contributions and workers’ compensation premiums.
Schneiderman previously won a $1.65 million settlement for workers at Soft Touch Car Wash in Inwood, Manhattan, on accusations of wage theft, and a year later in 2017, the business closed, the article concluded.
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