Janitorial Registration Frequently Asked Questions

  1. When are janitorial service providers required to register with the Labor Commissioner’s Office?
  2. New registration requirements of the Property Service Workers Protection Act go into effect beginning July 1, 2018. Janitorial service providers and contractors must register by October 1, 2018 to comply with the law and avoid incurring penalties. The registration is valid for one year and must be renewed annually by the month and day of the original registration’s issuance.

  3. Who must register as a janitorial service provider or contractor?
  4. • Any person or entity who meets the statutory definition of employer must register yearly with the Labor Commissioner’s Office. The Act defines a janitorial “employer” to mean anyone that employs at least one covered worker or otherwise engages by contracts, subcontracts, or franchise arrangements for the provision of janitorial services by one or more covered workers.

    Examples of businesses required to register:

    • A janitorial service provider that does not employ any employees and enters into a franchise agreement or other contract to perform janitorial services.
    • A janitorial service provider that provides janitorial services for commercial establishments including, but not limited to, office buildings and does not employ any employees.
    • A janitorial service provider that employs office staff to manage the business, and janitors to service the buildings of the provider’s clients.
    • A janitorial contractor that employs janitors to perform janitorial services for some clients, and hires franchisees to perform janitorial services for other clients.
    • A janitorial service provider that employs a bookkeeper and engages independent contractors to perform janitorial work at clients’ buildings.
    • A staffing agency that employs employees to meet a variety of labor needs for its clients, including janitors who perform janitorial work.
    • A janitorial broker that employs administrative staff in its office and contracts with janitorial businesses to provide janitorial services to clients, which are performed by covered workers.

    Examples of businesses not required to register:

    • A person or entity that only cleans residential dwellings, including private residences, condos or mobile homes.
    • A business that contracts for the provision of janitorial services by one or more covered workers where the business itself is the recipient of the services. For example, if a restaurant engages a janitorial contractor to provide cleaning services at the restaurant after closing every evening, the restaurant is not required to register.

    Note: The statutory definition of “employer” in Labor Code section 1420(e)(1) does not contain exceptions for certain types of janitorial services providers.  The Labor Commissioner’s Office has received numerous inquiries about whether certain entities, such as a professional employer organization (PEO) or a non-profit organization are required to register. Any entity that meets the statutory definition of “employer” shown above is required to register. However, see FAQ below regarding public entities.

  5. What is a covered worker?
  6. A covered worker is any individual working predominantly as a janitor, whether as an employee, independent contractor, or a franchisee. The term janitor is defined in the Service Contract Act Directory of Occupations maintained by the United States Department of Labor (Labor Code Section 1420(a)(1)).

  7. How can janitorial employers register or renew their registration?
  8. Janitorial employers can register for the first time or renew their registration by completing an application online or by mail.

  9. What is the registration fee?
  10. The fee is $500. First time applicants must pay a nonrefundable $500 application fee. Applications will not be processed without proper payment. The fee covers the cost of administering and enforcing the janitorial registration program.

    Janitorial service providers and contractors must register by October 1, 2018 to comply with the law and avoid incurring penalties.

    The registration is valid for one year and must be renewed annually by the month and day of the original registration’s issuance.  The renewal fee is $500

  11. What information is needed to register?

    Gather the required documents before beginning the registration process, including copies of:

    • Fictitious Business Name Statement(s) (doing business as (dba)) for any business name(s) you use or intend to use.
    • State Employer Identification Number (SEIN) or application for it.
    • Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or application for it.
    • Social Security or taxpayer identification numbers of all corporation officers, persons exercising management responsibility, and those who have a financial interest of 10 percent or more in the business.
    • Articles of Incorporation, if you are a corporation.
    • Articles of Organization, if you are a limited liability company (LLC).
    • Certificate of Limited Partnership, if you are a limited partnership.
    • Secretary of State Statement of Information, if you are a corporation or LLC.
    • Proof of valid workers’ compensation insurance certificate or certificate of authority to self-insure if applicant employs one or more employees.

  12. What other topics are addressed in the registration application?
  13. Questions that must be answered during the registration process include:

    • Does your business owe:
      • Unpaid wage and hour final judgments outstanding
      • Payroll taxes
      • Personal, partnership, or corporate income taxes,
      • Social security taxes
      • Disability insurance
    • Has your business not fully satisfied the terms of any administrative settlement pursuant to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing processes or a final judicial decree for any final judgment for a violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act?
    • Does your business have any wage and hour liens or suits pending in court or pending California Fair Employment and Housing Act claims?
    • Has your business ever been cited or assessed any penalty for violation of the California Labor Code?
    • Has your business paid for any unpaid contributions required by the Unemployment Insurance Code or the Employment Development Department?
    • Has your business paid for any unpaid contributions required by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act or the Internal Revenue Service?
    • Has your business satisfied the terms of any administrative settlement pursuant to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing processes or a final judicial decree agreed upon with an employee or former employee of a business for which the employer is required to register for any final judgment  for a violation of Government Code section 12940?
  14. How long is the registration valid?
  15. The registration is valid for one year and must be renewed annually by the month and day of the original registration’s issuance. The online registration holder will receive an email notification from the Labor Commissioner’s Office 90 days before their registration expires.

  16. Are registered employers required to keep records?
  17. Yes. In addition to existing recordkeeping requirements, every employer must keep accurate records for three years showing all of the following:

    • Names and addresses of all employees engaged in rendering actual services for any business of the employer.
    • The hours worked daily by each employee, including the times the employee begins and ends each work period.
    • The wage and wage rate paid each payroll period.
    • The age of all minor employees.
    • Any other conditions of employment.
    • The names, addresses, periods of work, and compensation paid to all other covered workers.
  18. What are the consequences for janitorial contractors who fail to register?
  19. A janitorial contractor or employer who fails to register is subject to a civil fine of $100 for each calendar day that the employer is unregistered, not to exceed $10,000.

  20. What are the consequences for hiring unregistered janitorial contractors?
  21. Any person or entity that contracts for janitorial services with an employer not registered at the time the contract is executed, extended, renewed, or modified, is subject to a civil fine of $2,000 to $10,000 in the case of a first violation, and a civil fine of $10,000 to $25,000 for a subsequent violation.

  22. What are the consequences for material misrepresentation in connection with an initial or renewal application?

    Any person who makes a material misrepresentation in connection with an initial or renewal application is subject to a civil fine of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per violation. . For example, if an applicant makes a false statement that the applicant has no employees and another false statement that it complied with the sexual harassment training requirements, the applicant will be subject to a $20,000 civil fine.

  23. Does the janitorial registration program apply to public entities?
  24. The Labor Commissioner’s Office interprets the law to apply only to private persons or entities. There is no specific language stating that the law applies to public entities, nor is there evidence of the Legislature’s intent to include such governmental entities.

  25. What are the training in the prevention of sexual violence and harassment requirements?

    The Property Service Workers Protection Act requires employers to provide training in the prevention of sexual violence and harassment at least once every two years.

    Until the training requirements are established pursuant to Labor Code section 1429.5, employers may meet this obligation by giving employees the Department of Fair Employment and Housing pamphlet DFEH–185, “Sexual Harassment,” in English or Spanish, as appropriate.

For additional questions, please contact dlsejanitorialservice@dir.ca.gov

December 2019