Both, Customer and Service Provider Jointly Liable for $4.5M Janitorial Wage Theft

The California Labor Commission has found that The Cheesecake Factory and its janitorial contractor are both liable for over $4.5 million in lost wages and fines, the New York Times reports. These fines stem from state findings that the janitorial contractor, Americlean Janitorial Services Corp., and its subcontractor, Magic Touch Commercial Cleaning, paid less than minimum wage, denied payment of overtime, and failed to afford proper meal and rest breaks to over 550 Southern Californian janitors in violation of labor laws.

This award is newsworthy because it is the first to fall under California’s recent SB-588. Specifically, SB-588 holds all parties liable for any labor violations, including ones of contractors and their subcontractors. Here, The Cheesecake Factory is liable for the violations of its janitorial contractor’s subcontractor; a party far removed from the traditional employer/employee relationship.

This story highlights the importance of contracting with a professional, quality, and trustworthy janitorial contractor. The janitorial industry is especially prone to wage and hour violations because the average janitor’s rate of pay is often near minimum wage. Additionally, there are janitorial contractors who take advantage of at-risk populations by paying employees unfairly and illegally. Therefore, you should trust who cleans your facilities because you may be liable for their labor law violations. The risk of taking the lowest price without considering the quality of service could be a costly one.

At Servicon Systems, we strive to pay employee’s accurately, fairly, and legally. We have implemented advanced, industry leading technologies to ensure no employee is ever paid below minimum wage. We also train all supervisors and managers on the importance of wage-and-hour violations to protect our employees and our customers.

The foregoing was written by Nick Rabinovitch, In-House Counsel for Servicon Systems. Please note, the information is not intended to constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon in lieu of consultation with appropriate legal advisors in your own jurisdiction.


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