Janitors in some Targets win overtime-pay dispute

  • Article by: DEE DEPASS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 15, 2013 - 9:50 PM

Contract workers to get back pay in settlement.

 

Twin Cities janitors contracted to clean various Target stores will receive back overtime pay and damages as part of a class-action settlement reached this week with their employer, Diversified Maintenance Systems (DMS).

DMS has denied any wrongdoing.

The lawsuit, originally filed by 12 plaintiffs in Minneapolis in October 2011, accused Diversified of forcing cleaners to work seven nights a week without overtime pay or meal breaks required by law.

The complaint alleged that certain managers made workers, mostly at five Twin Cities Target stores, punch into work on certain days using “ghost employee” ID cards. According to the court documents, the “scheme” required the janitors to clock in and sign work cards using the names of former DMS employees at least one or two days a week. The practice meant that those who worked as much as 56 to 80 hours a week received only regular pay.

As part of the settlement, Tampa-based Diversified denied breaking federal laws and blamed “a rogue manager [who] may have ignored well-established policies without DMS’ knowledge.”

The terms of the settlement are confidential, said Brian Payne, a lead organizer for Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha (CTUL).

What is known is that the settlement will ultimately affect about 200 to 250 janitors who worked in seven Midwest states. Most of the settlement is aimed at 55 DMS janitors who worked in Target stores in Chaska, Maple Grove, Savage, Rochester, downtown Minneapolis, Rogers, Lino Lakes, Waconia and Cambridge.

Calls to attorneys for both parties were not returned Friday. Target Corp. spokeswoman Molly Snyder referred all inquiries to DMS.

 

Dee DePass • 612-673-7725

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