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August 31, 2004
Janitorial Firm Pays $1.9M in Back Wages

A company that employs janitors who clean Target stores in California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, and New Mexico, has agreed to pay $1.9 million in back wages to 775 employees to settle allegations that the company violated the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

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Investigators from U.S. Department of Labor and the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement say they found that employees of Global Building Services, which is based in Newhall, California, paid a fixed hourly wage, usually in cash, for all hours worked. The affected employees, most of whom are Hispanic, typically worked eight hours per day, six or seven days per week, according to the DOL. The FLSA requires that employees be paid one-and-one-half times their regular rate of pay for work hours in excess of 40 per week.

The terms of the settlement are outlined in a consent judgment entered with the U.S. District Court of Central California on August 24. The back wages compensate employees for work performed prior to February 11, 2003. The DOL says Global Building Services cooperated with the investigation and has agreed to comply with federal wage and hour laws in the future.

The Wage and Hour Division and the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement are partners in an alliance to educate workers and employers on workplace rights and responsibilities.

Target tells the New York Times that it requires all contractors to comply with all workplace laws, saying it is reviewing the case and will take "appropriate action."


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