Lawyers for hundreds of nonunion janitors and a custodial services company for Macy's and Herberger's stores in Minnesota have reached a $425,000 proposed settlement to resolve a 2015 federal lawsuit over pay practices.
Janitors would get back pay and Capital Building Services Group would implement new payroll practices under the agreement, which will be presented to U.S. District Judge Susan Nelson for approval.
"This is a fair settlement," said Adam Hansen of Nichols Kaster, the janitors' lawyer. "It reflects legal standards. It covers back pay for people who didn't get what they were supposed to get. And the company has agreed, under court supervision, that people will get paid how they want."
Hansen and a representative of Centro de Trabajadores Unidos (CTUL), a Minneapolis organization that advocates for low-wage workers, estimated that 300 to 600 former workers will get something from the settlement. Nichols Kaster will ask a federal judge for one-third of the settlement amount in fees.
An attorney for Capital Building Services Group confirmed the settlement.
In November, Nelson granted class-action status to the suit originally brought by eight workers who claimed Capital Building underpaid employees, failed to provide proper records and committed other violations of state and federal employment law. Settlement talks ensued.
Illinois-based Capital Building had denied it used electronic-payroll systems to short Minnesota workers. It argued the eight original plaintiffs failed to properly "clock-in" or "clock-out" or didn't request the detailed payroll information to which they were entitled.
The deal comes as nonunion janitors with CTUL are set to strike Thursday over issues of "fair pay" and "wage theft." Unionized workers who clean downtown buildings also are poised to strike over wage and benefit issues.