$800,000 to go to exploited California car wash workers

San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris speaks to supporters before a press conference.
San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris speaks to supporters before a press conference. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced Tuesday that the owner of eight car washes in California must pay a combined settlement of $1 million for worker exploitation. All of the businesses were purportedly operated by one man, Dipu Haque.

The California attorney general's office filed a civil suit against the car wash companies over a year ago. Eighty workers interviewed for the investigation said they weren't paid minimum wage or overtime, and that they were routinely denied breaks.

Of the million dollar settlement, $800,000 will go to the car wash employees. In total, 1,205 workers are due back pay. The state says it's difficult to track down workers in cases such as this, but if even half are found, the average restitution check will be more than $1,300.

The car washes must also pay $50,000 in back payroll taxes and $100,000 in civil penalties, the Sacramento Bee reports.

Five of the car washes are in Southern California: Bonus Car Wash in Santa Monica, Valley Car Wash in Laguna Niguel, Marina Car Wash in Venice, Wash and Go Hand Wash in Irvine and the Laguna Hills Union 76 Station Car Wash.

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