Four carwash workers filed a lawsuit Monday claiming a family of carwash owners routinely withheld pay for overtime and denied them breaks during the summer. The lawsuit is one of a series filed on behalf of carwash workers since 2008 in an attempt by unions and immigrant advocates to improve conditions in an industry where competition is fierce, profit margins are low, and workers are often undocumented immigrants from Mexico and Central America. A Times report on the industry found it rife with nonpayment of overtime, false pay records and other abuses. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) filed Monday’s class-action lawsuit on behalf of four workers at carwashes owned by Bijan, Edna and Kambiz Damavandi, alleging the family forced workers to arrive to work early but only clock in when there were enough cars to wash. According to the lawsuit, the family owns three carwashes: Lincoln Millennium Car Wash, 2454 Lincoln Blvd. in Venice; Santa Monica Car Wash, 2510 Pico Blvd. in Santa Monica; and Bumble Bee Car Wash, 2711 Del Amo Blvd. in Lakewood. The lawsuit, announced at a press conference outside Santa Monica Car Wash, alleges that the Damavandi family also did not allow workers proper breaks for water and lunch. “They’d often insult you to get you to work faster,” said Marcial Hernandez, a worker for eight years at Lincoln Millennium Car Wash. Hernandez said he often worked 50 hours a week and was paid for 40.
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i'm the leftist liberal you've been warned about - the one who genuinely supports the expansion of the welfare state. i love politics and data and graffiti and street art and am far too lazy to use my shift key. if you need to reach me, you can email to abbyjean at the google email service.