Wage theft is far too common in our country, spanning virtually every industry and denying hard-working hourly workers of their hard-earned pay. Car washes and auto detailing shops are other examples of employers who regularly cheat employees out of compensation totaling millions of dollars.


Car wash and auto detailer wage abuse is so prevalent that the U.S. Department of Labor has issued an alert to warn hourly workers at those establishments of their rights and educate them about the ways their employers commit wage theft:

  • Forcing employees to perform “off the clock” work;
  • Forcing employees to stock shelves or clean the premises before punching in or after punching out.
  • Forcing tipped-employees to spend too much time performing non-tipped work.
  • Violating minimum wage laws.
  • Forcing workers to buy uniforms without reimbursement, and then launder and maintain uniforms after hours without pay.
  • Wrongly classifying workers as independent contractors
  • Requiring employees to punch out for meal and rest breaks

One study of low-wage workers found that in a given week, nearly 70% fell victim to some type of wage abuse, amounting to more than $2,600 per employee in lost income. The study also showed that, in a given year, wage theft in the three studied cities (Los Angeles, Chicago, & New York City) cost workers more than $3 billion. Other examples were the subject of a Washington Post report.

If you work for a car wash or auto detailer and suspect that your employer has unlawfully withheld wages and overtime, please contact the attorneys in Sommers Schwartz’s Employment Litigation Group today – we’re here to help!

Kevin J. Stoops

View all posts by
Kevin J. Stoops

Kevin Stoops is an experienced trial attorney who appears frequently in Michigan state courts and federal courts across the United States, representing clients in complex business litigation. He has vast experience and a track record of successful outcomes high-dollar matters involving trade secret, business tort, intellectual property, executive employment, and class action claims.