IR #2004-8
Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Dean Fryer
Susan Gard

Janitorial workers to receive $1.9 million in back wages
State Division of Labor Standards Enforcement and U.S. Department of Labor joined forces to investigate claims

San Francisco - Following an investigation by the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) and the U.S. Department of Labor (U.S. DOL), an agreement has been reached with Global Building Services, Inc., of Newhall, CA to remedy labor law violations. Global Building Services has agreed to pay $1.9 million in back wages to 775 employees who weren't properly paid for overtime.

Global Building Services employees provided janitorial services to Target stores in Los Angeles, as well as parts of Arizona, Nevada and Texas.

"This case demonstrates the state's renewed commitment to joint labor law enforcement in low wage industries," said Jose Millan, deputy secretary for enforcement, California Labor and Workforce Development Agency. "Janitorial and other workers can be confident we are taking action to enforce the law and ensure they receive the pay they earn."

The investigation of Global Building Services revealed workers -- most of whom are Hispanic -- were paid a fixed amount, usually in cash, for all hours worked. Employees typically worked at least eight hours per day, six or seven days per week.

In California, regulations governing wages, hours and working conditions are laid out in the Industrial Welfare Commission wage orders, which must be posted in the workplace where employees can read them. Overtime wages must be paid at the rate of one and one-half times the employee's regular rate or pay for all hours over eight per day (up to and including 12 hours, after which the rate is double time), and for the first eight hours worked on the seventh consecutive day in a workweek.

The terms of the settlement with Global Building Services are outlined in a consent judgment filed with the U.S. District Court of Central California Aug. 24. Global Building Services cooperated with investigators and agreed to compensate employees for work performed prior to February 11, 2003.

The DLSE and U.S. DOL are partners in the new EMPLEO alliance, created to educate workers and employers on workplace rights and responsibilities. The alliance, which includes other federal and state agencies, local business and community organizations, the consulates of Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, has established a toll-free help line (1-877-552-9832) to provide information about workplace laws to Spanish speaking workers and employers.

Employers in need of Industrial Welfare Commission wage orders or other workplace postings may download or order them at, click on workplace postings in the left navigation bar. For more information about California's wage and hour laws visit DLSE's Web site at