Janitors who clean Macy's and Herberger's stores in the Twin Cities filed a federal class-action lawsuit against their employer, Capital Building Services Group, alleging wage theft and a variety of labor violations.
Eight employees of the Lake Zurich, Ill.-based firm say the company failed to provide pay stubs to workers or keep accurate employment records. They accuse the company of failing to pay overtime, underreporting the numbers of hours worked, and forcing them to travel between work sites and sometimes buy their own cleaning supplies without reimbursement.
One plaintiff, Leyla Yusuf, is accusing Capital of firing her for reporting a labor violation.
The workers are asking the court for civil penalties for each of 11 alleged violations, damages, legal fees and "all such further relief as the court deems equitable and just."
Several workers, organized by the workers' advocacy group Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en La Lucha, protested in front of the downtown Macy's over the lunch hour Wednesday.
The lawsuit was filed by Nichols Kaster, an employee and consumer rights law firm with offices in Minneapolis and San Francisco.
Capital Building Services Group rejected the workers' allegations.
"CBSG is very committed to treating all of its employees fairly," said David Zinder, the Chicago-based attorney for Capital Building Services Group. "We have not gone through the entire complaint, but we will fight the allegations in court."
The firm, founded in 1987, cleans more than 300 facilities in 25 states.