Vizza Wash LP, doing business as Wash-Tub, has paid $246,438 in back wages to 308 employees following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division that found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping provisions at 34 of the company’s locations in and around San Antonio.
“The Department of Labor will pursue violators to the fullest extent to ensure total compliance with federal wage laws,” said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest. “The affected workers in this case were among the most vulnerable employees that we see. Other employers in the car wash industry should take note and ensure that their payroll practices comply with the law.”
An investigation by the division’s San Antonio District Office found that Vizza Wash made illegal deductions from employees’ paychecks for items such as uniforms, insurance claims and cash register shortages, which resulted in the employees’ pay falling below the federal minimum wage. Investigators also found that the company failed to pay the minimum wage to employees paid on a commission basis when the commissions they earned did not equal at least $7.25 per hour for all the hours employees worked each week. Additionally, 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.
Violations were found at 27 locations in San Antonio, two in Round Rock, and one each in Boerne, New Braunsfels, Kerrville, Georgetown and Schertz.
Vizza Wash has agreed to fully comply with the FLSA in the future. The back wages owed have been paid in full.
The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers are also required to maintain accurate time and payroll records.
The department has a smartphone application, available in English and Spanish, to help employees independently track the hours they work and determine the wages they are owed. Users can track regular work hours, break times and any overtime hours worked for one or more employers. This technology is significant because, instead of relying on their employers’ records, workers now can keep their own records.