Car wash group drops suit to stop NYC bond law

New York City — The Association of Car Wash Owners has abandoned its lawsuit to stop the 2015 Car Wash Accountability Law, the Bill de Blasio administration announced Feb. 11.

The association’s move to drop its suit comes after its loss in December when an appeals court upheld the labor-backed law, which including a two-tier system requiring nonunion businesses to be bonded at five times the amount as unionized ones.

The Car Wash Accountability Law states that anyone applying for a car wash license must obtain a  $150,000 surety bond or a $30,000 if entered into a settlement with a state or federal government agency and are covered by an active monitoring agreement. The agreement “requires you to pay at least the minimum wage, subjects you to at least monthly monitoring by an independent monitor, and provides for a quick process for resolving disputes about wage violations,” according to the New York City Consumer Affairs website.

This surety bond guarantees that the owner will pay their employees at least minimum wages, interest on wages, or fringe benefits as well as cover any damages by a violation of labor codes. If an employee feels the owner is not following the regulations that require the bond, they can make a claim on the bond.

The association scored a short-lived victory in 2017 when a lower court had agreed that the law illegally compelled labor organizing.

Most car washes in the city are not unionized, according to multiple reports.

New York City defines a car wash, for licensing purposes as a business that “cleans vehicles, including washing, detailing, drying, polishing, vacuuming, or other cosmetic care of vehicles, either at a fixed location or as part of a mobile, on-demand, or ‘pop-up’ service,” according the New York City Consumer website.

If you operate a car wash in New York City and need a surety bond or a better rate on your current bond, contact an expert by calling 800-901-3099 or by filling out an application online.

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