Seventeen former and current employees of Hi-Tek Car Wash in Brighton Beach, New York have filed a federal wage lawsuit against company owners, alleging they earn less than minimum wage including tips.
The lawsuit was filed with the help of WASH New York, a Make the road New York and New York Communities for Change campaign which is backed by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, the NY Daily News reports.
According to workers involved in the lawsuit, employees regularly worked over 40 hours a week without receiving overtime pay. Workers also say that managers of the company used employee tips to pay for vehicle damage.
Gary Pinkus, a Hi-Tek manager said that campaign organizers “are brainwashing employees to take their side. That they are not paid properly is not true.” However, Aaron Morales Romero said he was employed by Hi-Tek for five years, but had to seek other employment because he was only earning $5.25 an hour and was finding it hard to survive on that wage. “The work is good, but what isn’t good is the salary and the mistreatment. Sometimes they would call us on our days off, and not give us overtime….the way my co-workers are still working is a disaster,” Morales Romero said.