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May 16, 2012
FLSA: Cleaning Services Company Owes More Than $500,000 in Back Wages

An Illinois cleaning services company, has been ordered to pay $501,893 in back pay and liquidated damages to 75 workers who were denied minimum wages and overtime pay. Judge James Holderman of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois issued a default judgment against Skokie Maid and Cleaning Services Ltd. after it failed to answer a complaint filed by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.

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WHD alleged that Skokie Maid misclassified 75 cleaning employees as independent contractors and willfully failed to pay them for all hours worked between November 2008 and July 2011. The company also failed to pay earned overtime and keep proper payroll records in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, WHD found.

The judgment included $250,946 in back pay plus an equal amount in liquidated damages.

“It is unacceptable for any employer not to pay workers their rightfully earned wages or to classify workers as independent contractors to circumvent wage laws,” said Karen Chaikin, WHD acting regional administrator. “The Labor Department is committed to seeing that these workers are compensated in accordance with the law.”

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