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Amber Goodwin, of Houston Justice for Janitors and SEIU writes in with lots of good information and links to the now-not-front-page issue of how some corporations (and/or their contractors) deal with immigrants’ labor. I personally find it hard to believe (and i wonder if the Ken Lay, Jeff Skillings, Bernie Ebbers, et al precedents will prevail) that corporate chieftains dont really know what is going on with their underlings and/or contractors. Is ‘willful ignorance’ an excuse that works under the law??
Janitors sue Target in Austin and San Antonio over wage violations
The exploitation of hard-working immigrants throughout Texas and nationally has received a lot of news coverage lately. But a lawsuit filed on June 29 against Target department stores and their cleaning contractor in Austin and San Antonio suggests the problem may be particularly rampant among major corporations and the companies they hire to provide janitorial services. Janitors in Target stores say they were required to work up to 70 hours a week without overtime pay and often worked seven days a week with only one day off every other week.
In fact, the lawsuit in Target stores is the latest in a growing number of lawsuits and investigations by federal agencies into similar practices—including cases involving janitors who clean national supermarket chains Safeway, Vons, Albertsons, and Ralph’s, United Parcel Service (UPS) facilities, and Wal-Mart stores.
In Houston, the company that cleans the offices of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, Professional Janitorial Service (PJS), violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act by instructing janitors to work “off-the-clock” and unlawfully withholding—and in some cases failing to pay—wages due to janitors upon termination of employment, according to a new class action lawsuit filed on June 15.