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Cleaning Workers Receive $39,000 in Back Wages

March 8, 2022

A commercial cleaning contractor that shortchanged 19 workers servicing a Federal Aviation Administration worksite in Pensacola, Florida, had to pay the employees US$39,806 in back wages and liquidated damages following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division found Cole Industries Inc., which does business as Service Master Professional Cleaning Service, violated the Fair Standards Labor Act by failing to pay its employees overtime. The company paid some workers an hourly rate for hours they worked on one job, then paid then a flat rate for hours they worked on a second job. As the employer did not combine the hours from both jobs to determine the total number of hours worked, it failed to pay the workers time-and-a-half for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek, which led to overtime violations.

The employer also violated the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act by failing  to pay employees the required prevailing wages and health and welfare benefits for work performed under a federal contract.

“Contractors and sub-contractors who hire workers to perform work on projects funded by federal contracts must follow specific laws when paying those workers,” said Wage and Hour District Director Wildalí De Jesús in Orlando, Florida. “When employers fail to pay proper prevailing wages on government contracts or don’t pay overtime as required, they violate the law, shortchange workers and gain an unfair advantage over law-abiding employers.”

 

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