On January 25, 2018, New York State Attorney General Eric Scheiderman announced he filed a lawsuit against Tropical Breeze Car Wash in Brooklyn, alleging its managers cheated its employees out of more than $540,000 in wages and deliberately filed false information to the state regarding the number of employees and payroll to avoid paying unemployment insurance. The lawsuit names the owner/manager and managers as defendants.
According to the lawsuit, from January 1, 2012 to January 1, 2018, Tropical Breeze alleging managers denied its employees access to their time cards so the workers could not be paid for the full day or earn overtime. The company also sent employees home for the day after working less than four hours without paying them for the entire workday, took money out of their paychecks for their uniforms, and refused to pay them the uniform maintenance allowance.
In addition, Schneiderman alleged in the lawsuit that the car wash failed to keep track of the number of hours each employee worked and never provided required notices of each worker’s rate of pay and required statements of wages with each paycheck. According to the lawsuit, the car wash violated the state’s Workers’ Compensation Law by underreporting the number of workers and payroll to its workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
In total, the Attorney General’s office is seeking approximately $1.6 million in restitution, damages and penalties, including $542,684 in lost wages for 150 employees over the six-year period.
If you believe you were the victim of wage theft or your pay is being willfully withheld by your employer, contact New York employment law attorney Steven Mitchell Sack to get the compensation that you deserve. Call Steven Mitchell Sack, “The Employee’s Lawyer,” at (917) 371-8000 or fill out a contact form.