Nearly 500 Latino janitors who cleaned UPS facilities, hotels and other properties in Illinois and Texas won a $1.2 million settlement for unpaid overtime and back wages.
According to the Service Employees International Union, which supported the lawsuit in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, the janitors were misclassified as independent contractors and worked as many as 60 hours per week without overtime pay. The contracting firms that employed them also charged them for insurance of dubious value, the lawsuit said.
UPS argued it did not employ the janitors, but merely contracted for services. The court found that UPS exercised sufficient control over the janitors’ working conditions to be held accountable for the subcontractors’ actions.
Final note: There’s been a dramatic increase in these kinds of lawsuits. If contract labor constitutes part of your work force, make sure all workers providing services to your company are properly classified.