Cleaning & Restoration Breaking News

U.S. Department of Labor Sues Cleaning Business for Back Wages Exceeding $1.8 Million

July 18, 2006
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SAN FRANCISCO, July 17 -- The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit against Gardena, Calif.-based Southern California Maid Services and Carpet Cleaning (SCMS) for minimum wage, overtime pay and recordkeeping violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. The suit seeks more than $1.8 million in unpaid back wages for approximately 386 employees.

"This administration is committed to ensuring that all wages earned are paid, and has made special efforts to protect the most vulnerable workers," said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "In this case, the department is seeking more than $1.8 million for these California workers whose employers violated federal minimum wage and overtime laws."

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, follows a Labor Department investigation that discovered SCMS's violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The law requires that covered employees earn no less than the federal minimum wage of $5.15 per hour and no less than one and one-half times their regular rate for hours worked over 40 per week.

The investigation also found that the employers, Sergio Maldonado and Lorenza Rubio, both of Rolling Hills, failed to keep accurate records of employees and the hours they worked.

The East Los Angeles office of the Wage and Hour Division learned of the employer's practices through its participation in the Employment Education and Outreach (EMPLEO) partnership. EMPLEO is an alliance of organizations and government agencies that assist Spanish-speaking workers and employers with work- related concerns. EMPLEO has a local, toll-free help line, 877- 55-AYUDA, or 877-552-9832. Volunteers help refer callers to the appropriate EMPLEO partner for assistance.

For more information about the FLSA, call the East Los Angeles Wage and Hour office at 626-966-0478 or the Department of Labor's toll-free help line at 866-4US-WAGE (866-487-9243). Information is also available on the Internet at http://www.wagehour.dol.gov.

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