Former Santa Clara auto shop worker claims wage violations

By Elizabeth Alt | May 20, 2018

​A lawsuit has been filed against Hanin Motor Group and owner Hyon Choi, alleging multiple violations of California's Labor Law and Business and Professions Code.


SAN JOSE – A lawsuit has been filed against Hanin Motor Group and  owner Hyon Choi, alleging multiple violations of California's Labor Law and Business and Professions Code.

The complaint was filed on May 15 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California by Juan Martinez, a former employee of the Hanin auto shop, claiming, “unpaid overtime wages, unpaid wages, interest, penalties, damages and attorneys’ fees and costs arising out of the failure to pay all wages for his labor including but not limited to overtime wages as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act and California law.”

Martinez was an employee for Hanin Motor Group, Inc. in Santa Clara, California, from May 2014 until he quit in September 2016. In his complaint, Martinez said he worked as a laborer for Hanin washing cars and was paid by both cash and checks. Martinez claims that the defendants refused to pay the 1.5-hour overtime wage when he worked over 8 hours, and “instigated a scheme to reduce hours to not pay overtime and to avoid worker compensation.”

Martinez states that he would typically work from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Choi would log the wrong hours into the computer to avoid paying Martinez overtime. The complaint states that Martinez’s pay stubs also listed incorrect hours he had worked, and that the defendants’ “failure to acknowledge the correct number of hours that plaintiff was working was willful and intentional for purposes of liquidated damages under labor laws and waiting time penalties under California labor code.” Martinez claims the defendants have not paid him for the hours he is owed as of the date of the lawsuit.


Martinez seeks compensatory damages for unpaid wages, liquidated damages, time penalties and penalties, prejudgment interest and attorney's fees and costs.

Plaintiff is represented by James Dal Bon of The Law Offices of James Dal Bon in San Jose.

United States District Court for the Northern District of California, case number 5:18-cv-02853-SVK

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