Minneapolis janitors working for Diversified Maintenance Systems (DMS) have received conditional class-action status in a Fair Labor Standards Act lawsuit that alleges the company orchestrated a timecard switching scheme designed to avoid paying overtime.
According to the complaint, the janitors were told to use their regular timecards until they worked 40 hours in a week. From then on, they were given “ghost” timecards, timecards with former employees’ names on them.
The janitors were then allegedly paid cash for the “ghost” time.
DMS uses a pay card system in which employees receive a card that works like a debit card tied to an account DMS maintains for them. The original plaintiff in the case alleges the company would withdraw cash from “ghost” cards to give to the workers who used that identity.
The employee claims that prior to the pay card system, the company wrote checks and directed employees to cash the checks made out to ex-employees at a check-cashing store that would ask no questions.
DMS admits that the fraudulent practices occurred, but blames them on a rogue manager, who no longer works for the company and cannot be found.