A Torrance car detailer has been ordered to pay $326,000 in back wages and penalties for failure to pay minimum wage and overtime to employees, the U.S. Department of Labor announced Monday.

The Labor Department obtained a federal judicial order to pay $292,000 in back wages to employees of Interior Magic of California, a franchise of Interior Magic of Lexington, KY. The Torrance franchisee and its officers, Frank and Tammy Hallberg, were also ordered to pay $34,400 in penalties.

The order stems from a Labor Department investigation that found the franchise made illegal deductions from worker paychecks for property damage that resulted in the workers being paid less than minimum wage. The department also found the franchise did not pay required overtime; in some cases, the franchise improperly classified workers as exempt to avoid overtime payments.

“This employer committed willful labor violations, which deprived more than 200 workers of their hard-earned wages,” said Daniel Pasquil, director of the wage and hour division’s West Covina district office.

Reached by phone, Frank Hallberg said he had not yet seen the Labor Department press release and said he needed time to review it before offering comment.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.