Sixty workers at a Redondo Beach carwash will receive $450,000 in unpaid wages in a settlement reached between the carwash's owner and the California Labor Commissioner.

Bruno Scherrer Corp., which does business as Hollywood Riviera, shorted their employees' earned wages and intentionally failed to record employee total work hours, according to an investigation launched by the Labor Commissioner's office in October 2006. The investigation found the carwash was paying employees minimum wage for as little as 3 to 4 hours of work, then requiring them to finish the day by being paid tips only, a violation of minimum wage laws.

Labor Commissioner Angela Bradstreet filed suit against the business in September 2007. "Clearly this case reveals a deplorable situation where employees were being taken advantage of by not being paid their proper wage," said Bradstreet in a statement Wednesday. "This case is an excellent example of why we register carwash companies in California."

The Carwash Worker Organizing Committee, a United Steelworkers Local 675 affiliate that has been working to unionize the county's car washes, applauded the settlement.

"Carwash workers are among the most exploited workers in California, and Commissioner Bradstreet's efforts are a significant step towards bringing them justice and dignity on the job," said Dave Campbell, secretary treasurer of United Steelworkers Local 675, in a statement.

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