Displaced Car Wash Workers Will Be Hired Elsewhere

NEW YORK -

Fifteen car-wash workers who were about to lose their jobs because of the closure of a SoHo car wash location will be offered comparable positions at other New York City car washes operated by the owners of Lage Car Wash, Inc., within 30 days.

The announcement, made by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, involves a car wash that was part of a group of companies under investigation for possible violations.

The agreement relates to an inquiry into whether the closure of the Lage Car Wash station, at 124-38 Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan, constituted retaliation against employees who previously reported violations.

“My office will take swift action when there is any indication that an employer may have retaliated against workers for reporting violations of New York’s labor laws,” Schneiderman said. Lage Car Wash, Inc. will face penalties and damages if workers are not given positions as required.

The company informed workers earlier this month that the SoHo location would be closing near the end of February and that their employment would be terminated.

New York Labor Law prohibits retaliation by an employer against employees who have reported labor law violations to the government.

Juan Carlos, 26, who worked at the car wash for more than 7 years, said, “We are so happy to have won our jobs back. They owed us at least that.”

Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, said, “We congratulate the SoHo Carwasheros, who are proud members of the RWDSU, on a successful fight to save their jobs. We also applaud the Attorney General’s aggressive support for workers’ rights.”