Settlement Reached Between Diversified Maintenance Systems and Janitors Cleaning Target Stores for $675,000

Workers charged the cleaning contractor with requiring them to work up to 80 hours a week without full overtime pay

Minneapolis (February 15, 2013) — Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha (CTUL) received word late Thursday that the settlement of a class action lawsuit against cleaning contractor Diversified Maintenance Systems (DMS), alleging wage and hour violations by the company has received preliminary approval by a federal court. The lawsuit was initially filed by over a dozen DMS workers who clean Target stores in the Twin Cities area. The settlement, filed January 31, will provide $675,000 in damages.

In their 2011 Corporate Responsibility Report, Target claims that: “We will not knowingly work with any company that does not comply with our ethical standards…” and “We seek business partners who do not require a work week that exceeds local laws or business customs and who do not require a week of more than 48 hours, plus a maximum of 12 hours overtime, on a regularly scheduled basis. Workers shall have at least one in seven days off.” Yet in this case, workers who clean Target stores right here in the Twin Cities report having to work seven days, 56-80 hours per week without receiving full overtime pay.

416657_367256923320680_125824334130608_994761_1725156168_o“Workers allege that they were forced to work seven days a week and told they had to punch in on a ghost time card one of those days and were not paid overtime for that time,” said Veronica Mendez, an organizer with CTUL. “After many months of standing up against this injustice, workers and DMS reached a settlement. The proposed settlement of $675,000 is a huge victory for workers, but it is not enough. This is at least the fifth significant federal lawsuit led by workers who clean Target stores in the past ten years alleging unpaid overtime and/or minimum wage. It is time for Target Corporation to commit to contracting responsible cleaning contractors to make sure this type of issue can never take place in the cleaning of Target stores.”

Just three weeks ago, 25 janitors who clean Target stores in the Twin Cities metro area also filed charges with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) alleging that workers were locked in stores overnight and/or did not receive proper safety training.

Diversified Maintenance Systems is Target’s largest cleaning contractor, with contracts to clean over 600 Target stores nationwide. Over the past 10 years, DMS has faced at least:

  • 8 Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) complaints, exposing 44 violations of workplace safety regulations.
  • 6 US Department of Labor investigations finding 87 violations of minimum wage and/or overtime laws.
  • 10 federal lawsuits alleging unpaid wages and/or overtime.

A copy of the judge’s order can be found here: http://action.mnfaireconomy.org/page/-/judge%20signed.pdf

A copy of the settlement and release agreement filed by the workers can be found here: http://action.mnfaireconomy.org/page/-/10114510764.pdf

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Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha (CTUL)

CTUL is a low-wage worker led organization based in the Twin Cities that is organizing for fair wages, fair working conditions, and a voice in the workplace for all workers.

www.ctul.net

Contact:  Brian Payne, CTUL, brian@ctul.net or Eric Fought, efought@mnfaireconomy.org

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