Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
HOUSTON -- Soji Services Inc., doing business as Metro Clean Commercial Building Services, has agreed to pay $273,132 in minimum wage and overtime back wages to 266 janitors after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping provisions.
“This employer took advantage of workers for its own monetary gain,” said Cynthia Watson, the Wage and Hour Division’s regional administrator for the Southwest. “The resolution of this case should send a clear message to other employers who may be tempted to skirt the law—the department will continue to pursue violations in this industry vigorously. Companies contracting for these types of services should be aware of a contractor’s labor compliance history when selecting their service providers. Whether it’s the people landscaping your property, providing security services or cleaning your building, we all have a responsibility to ensure that an honest day’s work receives an honest day’s pay.”
The investigation by the division’s Houston District Office found that Metro Clean Commercial Building Services paid one employee below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour when it failed to pay for all hours worked. Additionally, some employees worked an average of 65 hours per week and were paid straighttime wages, rather than receiving overtime pay at one and one-half times their regular rates of pay for hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek, as required by the FLSA. The employer also failed to maintain accurate records as required by the act.
Metro Clean Commercial Building Services provides commercial janitorial services to corporations in the Houston area, including Chase Bank, Amegy Bank, the Marriott Hotel and the Houston Independent School District. The company has agreed to fully comply with the FLSA in the future.
The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers also are required to maintain accurate time and payroll records.
For more information about the FLSA and other federal wage laws, call the Wage and Hour Division’s tollfree helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or the division’s Houston District Office at 713-339-5500. Information is also available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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