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California AG: Janitorial Company 'Exploited' Underpaid Employees

The State of California filed a lawsuit last week claiming a janitorial company, responsible for cleaning retail stores like Ross, JoAnn's Fabrics, Burlington Coat Factory, and Toys R Us, violated state wage and tax laws.

One Source Facility Solution is accused of failing to pay workers the minimum wage, underreporting payroll taxes, and providing false payroll information to its workers' compensation insurance carrier. The lawsuit alleges One Source janitors "have not received and do not receive the state-mandated minimum wage for all of the hours they work."

Worker Exploitation

Filed by State Attorney General Xavier Becerra, the lawsuit lists a "pattern of unlawful conduct," including a failure to keep accurate records of the wages paid to employees. "For certain jobs," the suit claims, "One Source managers inform employees that the assigned work requires two people and that the employee is responsible for recruiting a partner. The partner is not placed on the payroll or paid separately, and the first employee is expected to split their wages with the recruited employee partner."

Additionally, One Source allegedly "issued paychecks or made electronic fund transfers to One Source employees as payment for work performed, from which no money was deducted for withholding and remittance to the State Employment Development Department," and "knowingly provided false information to a workers' compensation insurance carrier."

Worker Protections

"Protecting those who put in a hard day's work for modest pay is a top priority for me," Becerra said:

"I see my parents when I see those who do the physical labor that keeps America ready and open for business every morning. The Attorney General's Office is prepared to take on employers who commit wage theft and tax-cheating. Working men and women, especially those who are paid close to the minimum wage, depend on every penny they've earned to feed their families and keep a roof over their heads. One Source exploited these hardworking, modest-earning Californians who clean the very stores we shop in. That's not only illegal, it's despicable"

Because the janitorial services are contracted out through another company, USM, the retailers themselves are not named in the lawsuit.

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