Source: Google Maps

Hi-Tek Car Wash at 2981 Coney Island Avenue was sued on Wednesday by 17 of its workers, who claimed they were not paid minimum wage or properly compensated for overtime, according to the Daily News.

The immigrant workers, which included current and past washers, filed a federal lawsuit against their employers for bridging their legal rights.

The Daily News said that the workers stated that they received less that $7.25 an hour, including tips. Workers also told the Daily News that they frequently labored for more than 40 hours a week, yet they did not receive legally mandated overtime pay.

Aaron Morales Romero, 23, a former Hi-Tek employee, said to the Daily News that he worked at Hi-Tek for five years but quit in March because he couldn’t support himself making only $5.25 an hour, in addition to a small amount of tips.

Gary Pinkus, a manager at Hi-Tek, claimed that allegations were false.

“They [campaign organizers] are brainwashing employees to take their side. That they are not paid properly is not true,” said Pinkus to the Daily News.

The Daily News said workers filed the suit with assistance from WASH New York, a campaign run by two nonprofit organizations: Make the Road New York and New York Communities for Change. WASH New York is also supported by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.

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  • mehhhh

    I always thought that if you receive tips they can pay under minimum wage.That is true for restaurants for sure

    • Kevin L

      If the total with tips does not equal minimum wage, the business has to make up the difference. In this case, they weren’t.

      • SirDenTee

         It does amaze how in this Century people are expected to live on minimum wage. Those who pay it laugh in our faces all the way to the bank.

  • Guest

    Looks like they were getting under minimum wage, even with tips.

  • Russian_cowboy

    who cares? they are mexican. 

  • Barkingspider07

    I really have a problem with these employers who hire only immigrants.  They treat these poor people, most of whom have families like garbage.  Many employers do this – including stores like Subways, who only hire foreign workers.  They pay $7.25/hour, but these guys are working between 60-70 hours per week and they get straight pay, no overtime.  They don’t fight because they are afraid of losing their jobs.  It is a shame.  These workers all need a union.

    • nolastname

      I thought I heard there was a union started, maybe a year ago or so.

      • Guest

         cheap labor buddy. Do you like paying $2 a pound for apples on brighton? If we dont hire the mexicans then who else would do it? if they do the same job the price the fruit goes up.

        • SirDenTee

           Why should the price go up? So the guy exploiting his workers can continue to live in the lap of luxury?

      • nolastname

        See, this is what I was talking about. Now they are going to Hi-tek and soon to the place on Neck Road.

  • ShadowLock

    umm…..

    I guess that’s one way to get Deported.

    Show up on the Grid……. 

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

      if this is the case the company is in another mess of trouble and they would do themselves good to pay up quietly/

  • Manhattan Beach Bum

    I wonder how many of these workers reported their income and paid taxes on it. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Either come to this country legally, pay taxes, and enjoy the benefits, or live and work in the shadows and keep quiet.

    • levp

      For all we know, they are perfectly legal – like you and me.  And I don’t know about you, so that just leaves me.

  • EndofDaze

    Not surprised to read about this, and hope the workers receive justice…I use to go to this car wash, but I didn’t enjoy (not that I’m anything special!) many of the other clientele, who used the place, as I found them to be irritating and obnoxious, just standing in their vicinity, as we waited for our cars to be wiped down…And my favorite one, between X and Y, on CIA, once efficiently run by a very fine fellow, now act like HiTek wanabees! I do my own washing, or go to the old neighborhood wash, about three miles to the north…Das vadanya everybody.

    • frankiev

      I know what you mean about the clientele but this happens to be one of the most efficient car washes around. I’ve tried every one in the neighborhood.

  • Eric

    Illegal immigrants seek legal rights. Bravo America, bravo.

    • levp

      You’ve checked their status?

  • RR

    they’re working OT because they beg and i mean beg for more hours…it is the choice of the worker himself not the employer at most cases

  • HI-TEK

    I can tell you that the workers are in fact compensated appropriately and fairly – even on the slower days, their compensation with tips exceeds the minimum required compensation in NYC. Not only that, but proper

    This is an issue of unionization of an industry, either unionize or prepare to face media scrutiny and possible0 legal actions bestowed upon you. The problem is that when you attempt to unionize such a small industry (let’s face it, you pay ~$10 per car wash, this isn’t a multi-billion dollar industry), you are fragmenting the economy and more harm is done than good.

    If every carwash were to start paying minimum wage + tips, then there would be less of a workforce and more unemployed staff, not sure what these union promoters are thinking about.

    This is a movement to crack down and regulate all NYC carwashes. Hi-Tek is grateful and proud to serve its community and customers and we will continue to provide the best service. We are also observant of our local community views and are happy to hear what our neighbors have to say.

    Thank you for voicing your opinion, thank you Sheepshead Bites.

    http://facebook.com/hitekcarwash

    • HI-TEK

      To be clear, it is required law that an employee makes at least minimum wage when factoring in salary and tips, but like the restaurant industry, salary is less than the minimum wage salary because tips are a factor. The same holds for the carwash industry and for Hi-Tek.

      We are supportive of reforms within the industry, but those reforms should not be detrimental to the economics of the business; should that happen, then a business suffers and it becomes difficult to economically justify keeping the same headcount. Employees at these institutions are in fact fairly and properly compensated for the services performed and proper precautions are taken to ensure the safety of both employees and customers.

       

      • http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/ Ned Berke

        Thank you for chiming in. 

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