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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

ESA News Release: [04/16/2009]
Contact Name: Deanne Amaden
Phone Number: (415) 625-2630
Release Number: 09-0351-SAN

Southland cleaning service ordered to pay daily fines, post-judgment interest on nearly $3.5 million in back wages

Fines, interest based on company’s failure to follow 2007 order to compensate 385 workers

SAN FRANCISCO In the latest of a series of court actions pursued by the U.S. Department of Labor, a federal judge has ordered a Southern California cleaning service and its owners to pay $227,791 in post-judgment interest plus $2,400 in daily fines for failing to follow a 2007 order to pay nearly $3.5 million in back wages plus more than $1 million in liquidated damages to 385 workers.

"The Department of Labor will not hesitate to take action to ensure workers receive the compensation they have worked hard for and earned," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.

The investigation by the Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division leading to the 2007 order determined that Gardena, Calif.-based Southern California Maid Services and Carpet Cleaning had improperly classified employees as independent contractors and failed to pay them at least minimum wage and overtime as required under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

In a court order signed Aug. 21, 2007, a federal judge ordered the company and its owners, Sergio Maldonado and Lorenza Rubio, both of Rolling Hills, Calif., to pay the workers back wages plus $1,058,973 in liquidated damages. The company and its owners have failed to pay any of the amounts due, placing them in contempt. The post-judgment interest was calculated at a rate of 4.44 percent from the date of the original summary judgment. In addition, the order imposes fines of $2,000 per day against Southern California Maid Service and Carpet Cleaning, and $200 each per day against Maldonado and Rubio. The order will remain in effect and daily fines will continue to accrue until the defendants pay the back wages in full.

The West Covina District Office of the Wage and Hour Division learned of the employer's practices through its participation in the Employment Education and Outreach (EMPLEO) partnership. EMPLEO is an alliance of organizations and government agencies that assist Spanish-speaking workers and employers with work-related concerns. Callers are referred to EMPLEO partners for assistance by trained volunteers answering the EMPLEO toll-free helpline, 877-55-AYUDA (552-9832).

For more information about the FLSA, call the Department of Labor's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available on the Internet at www.wagehour.dol.gov or by calling the division's West Covina District Office at 626-966-0478.

Solis v. Southern California Maid Services and Carpet Cleaning Inc.
Case Number: CV 06-3903 AG (MANx), U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

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