Settlement to Provide Janitors Denied Wages

The cleaning industry, by its nature, keeps workers in the shadows. Janitorial employees are often all too familiar with wage and hour violations. Automatic deductions from work time for meal periods—regardless of whether the worker got the meal period, got a full 30 minutes for the meal period, or received the break by the time required. Split shifts worked without a premium. Driving between work sites without reimbursement. Approximately 49,000 janitors throughout the state of California were affected by these claims while working for employer ABM Industries.

Now, the 2006 lawsuit, which resulted in the published opinion ABM Industries Overtime Cases (2017) 19 Cal.App.5th 277, has been settled subject to court approval. If the San Francisco Superior Court approves the settlement, 140 million dollars will be funded to remedy these issues and related PAGA claims. Although many of the violations stemmed from a now discontinued time keeping and payroll system that paid based on scheduling and type of work, rather than on actual hours worked, ABM fought for years to prevent findings that its practices violated the law and was resistant to any change in their record keeping or payroll processes.

Weinberg, Roger & Rosenfeld has been actively pursuing these claims to recover wages, penalties, and interest for the class members and PAGA aggrieved employees, and is excited the janitors, many of whom are union members, will be returned the wages they earned but were denied. If you worked for ABM in California in any janitorial role since 2002, please make sure your address is updated with ABM. An updated address is critical for ensuring all class members and aggrieved employees receive their share of the settlement.

For questions regarding wage and hour law, please contact your labor law counsel.

By Caren Sencer | July 15, 2021

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