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Transforming Car Wash Worker Rights: An Analysis of California’s Car Wash Worker Law

Katherine Sánchez, Lily Cain, Sonita Tan, Anahí Cruz

August 1, 2022

Labor Law, Publications, Report


This report, compiled by four UCLA graduate students as part of the requirement for completion of the Master of Public Policy degree, provides a comprehensive analysis of California's Car Wash Worker Law. After almost 10 years since the most recent update to the law, car wash activists and organizers are interested in knowing what parts of the law have remained effective, and where there may still be gaps in enforcement and implementation. The research consists of a combination of quantitative data analysis of wage claim filings and qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews with car washers, labor law attorneys, Deputy Labor Commissioners and industry stakeholders conducted between January and March 2022. Six major findings and four policy options highlight the need for increased personnel in the Labor Commissioner's Office as well as more punitive measures to prevent wage theft.

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