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Know Your Rights
Source: Gothamist
Subject: Workplace Justice
Type: Media Coverage

Carwash Fatcat Ordered To Pay $3.9 Million In Settlement With Employees

The owner of a number of carwash businesses in New York City has been ordered to pay millions of dollars to his employees after reaching a settlement with New York State Attorney General over massive labor violations.

John Lage will pay $3.9 million dollars following a probe by Schneiderman into Lage’s 21 city carwashes, where the Attorney General found instances of underpaying workers, skimping out on unemployment insurance costs, as well as sending workers home, uncompensated, when work was slow.

“These agreements require the car washes clean up their acts to comply with the law. And they ensure that the New York businesses, those who play by the rules, can do so on a level playing field,” Schneiderman said in a statement.

$2.2 million of the settlement will go to 1,000 immigrant workers that work for Lage, a group of men [members of Make the Road New York] who call themselves “carwasheros.” Loge also paid some of his workers $3.4 million in back pay and damages in 2009 following a federal lawsuit.

Lage also owns four car washes that have recently become unionized, guaranteeing workers of $8 an hour, plus tips. He will now have to also pay for the independent monitoring of his carwashes for three years, to make sure that work conditions remain legal.

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