News Release

Federal court orders backpay, damages, prohibits Greenville cleaning service from violating wage laws after Department of Labor sues

Jesse’s Cleaning Service LLC retaliated against workers seeking paid sick leave

GREENVILLE, MS The Department of Labor has obtained a federal consent judgment that requires a Greenville cleaning and janitorial service and its owner to pay more than $127,000 in back wages, liquidated damages and compensatory damages following a court’s finding that the two illegally terminated workers for asserting their rights to federally-mandated sick leave. 

Before entering a consent judgment on March 4, 2024, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi issued an order finding that Jesse’s Cleaning Service LLC illegally terminated the workers after they asserted their right to be paid under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act. As part of this finding, the court found that Jesse’s Cleaning Service and Jesse Taliaferro owed $110,952 in back wages and liquidated damages, and $16,749 in compensatory damages.

In addition to ordering payment of the monetary damages, the consent judgment prohibits the defendants from violating the FLSA in the future, barring defendants from terminating or threatening to terminate, intimidate in any other manner and/or retaliate or discriminate in any way against workers seeking to exercise their rights under the FLSA. 

“These workers were, as they should have been, trying to protect themselves and their coworkers in the face of a newly identified virus,” explained Regional Solicitor Tremelle Howard in Atlanta. “Federal law ensures workers do not have to pick their job over their health and enables workers, if they need, to take medical leave under certain provisions to care for themselves or their families and prohibits employers from retaliating against them when they do.” 

“Access to wages and federally mandated pay is a right not a luxury,” Howard added. “Large or small, businesses must respect the law. The actions of this employer to demand workers forfeit their rights and then fire them when they refuse, especially when the employer’s demand would endanger the workers and their coworkers, are unconscionable.”

Owned and operated by Jesse Taliaferro, Jesse’s Cleaning Service LLC provides janitorial services to clients in Greenville and Indianola.

The Wage and Hour Division offers confidential compliance assistance to anyone – regardless of where they are from – with questions about the FLSA and other federal labor laws. Workers and employers can call the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). The department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages.

Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division. Download the agency’s new Timesheet App, which is available in English and Spanish for Android and iOS devices, to ensure hours and pay are accurate.

Wage and Hour Division
May 20, 2024
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Media Contact: Erika Ruthman
Media Contact: Eric R. Lucero
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