Bryan Cohen Feb. 21, 2013, 7:13pm

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced an agreement Wednesday with Lage Car Wash Inc. to ensure the employment of 15 workers who were about to lose their jobs.

The agreement with Lage Car Wash relates to an inquiry into whether the closure of a SoHo car wash location constituted retaliation against employees who previously reported labor law and other violations. Instead of being terminated, the 15 workers will be offered comparable positions at other car washes in New York operated by the owners of Lage Car Wash within 30 days.

"My office will take swift action when there is any indication that an employer may have retaliated against workers for reporting violations of New York's labor laws," Schneiderman said. "Because of this agreement, 15 workers will not lose their jobs and will be employed at the companies' other car wash locations."

Lage Car Wash will face penalties and damages if the workers are not given positions as required by the agreement.

The agreement only addresses the closure of the SoHo car wash location. It does not resolve a broader and ongoing inquiry into potential labor law violations by the owners of Lage Car Wash and the 23 interrelated car washes they operate.

New York Labor Law prohibits retaliation by an employer against employees who report labor law violations to the government. Retaliation can include blacklisting, termination, reduction of hours and closure of a business location if done with retaliatory intent.

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