More than a year after then Attorney General Jerry Brown filed a $6.6 million wage lawsuit against eight corporations owned by Dipu Haque, aka Dipu Haque Sikder, and doing business as various car washes, including three in Orange County, California, a settlement has been reached.
Employees and former employees of the car washes will each receive a portion of $800,000 in restitution to be paid in two payments, the first of which comes this Sunday, and the second due before July 15.
The lawsuit sought $1.7 million in lost wages, and $4.9 million in penalties and taxes after investigators found that employees were not paid minimum wage for hours worked, were not paid overtime, and were not pay on regularly scheduled pay dates. Haque did not pay or withhold state taxes, disability or unemployment insurance, did not allow employees to take breaks, did not pay in a timely manner, and did not always have sufficient funds to cover the pay checks when he did issue them.
Haque denied the allegations and made no admission of liability in the settlement. He must also pay $250,000 in penalties, fees, and taxes.
“Workers at these car washes were taken advantage of by unscrupulous employers who illegally denied them the pay and benefits they earned,” state Attorney General Kamala Harris said in a statement. “I am pleased that the resolution of this case will allow workers to receive the pay they are owed,” the OC Register reported.