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Ross Sued For Overtime Violations By “Independent Contractor” Janitorial Staff


If someone contracts work through another company which violates labor laws, the client may find itself in a lawsuit along with the company which committed the alleged violations. Such is the case for Ross Dress for Less, a clothing store based in Pleasanton, California. Ross allegedly contracted janitorial services through USM Inc. USM is a subcontractor which hired janitors and janitorial companies to undertake the cleaning services required at 1,000 of Ross’s stores across the country.

The labor lawsuit, brought by three employees who live in Oakland, California, alleges that Ross knowingly and intentionally provided USM with less funding than was required to properly pay enough janitors for all of Ross’s locations. The result, the lawsuit alleges, is what some people refer to as “fly-by-night” enterprises, wherein immigrant labor is used and denied the proper compensation for the work performed. According to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, all employees working in the United States are entitled to earn at least minimum wage and to earn the proper overtime compensation of one and one-half times their normal hourly rate for each hour that they work in excess of eight hours a day or forty hours per week.

While the case currently involves only the three plaintiffs who filed the lawsuit, the plaintiffs’ lawyers involved in the case are hoping to see it turn into a class action. Class action status would grant the plaintiffs and the affected workers greater opportunity against USM and Ross to achieve fair and proper compensation for all workers. Class action lawsuits allow all victims to obtain compensation. Class action status would also mean that the labor lawsuit would be able to reach a greater number of employees who were allegedly taken advantage of by Ross and USM. Many of these employees may not otherwise come forward to file a claim, whether because they do not think they earned enough to warrant an expensive lawsuit, or because they are simply unaware of the applicable wage and hour laws.

The complaint filed by the plaintiffs alleges that, “Ross knows, or should know that the funds provided to USM under their agreement(s) are not sufficient to allow USM to comply with all applicable local, state, and federal laws”.

For the janitors who worked in Ross locations in California, any reduction in wages as a result of under-funding for the janitorial services if proven means a violation in California wage law. Workers who fulfilled janitorial duties at Ross locations in other states are entitled to at least the minimum wage required by the labor laws of that state. According to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, all hourly employees in the United States are entitled to be paid at least $7.25 per hour.

The lawsuit alleges that USM failed to provide employees with their paychecks in a timely manner. USM allegedly also failed to provide them with sufficient compensation for the work performed, and failed to pay them the proper overtime compensation when the employees worked more than eight hours a day or forty hours a week.

The Illinois class action attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims against service companies including maid and cleaning service companies for misclassifying employees as independent contractors to avoid paying overtime and for erasing or altering time sheets or time records, pressuring workers not to report or record overtime, and otherwise failing to pay workers for overtime and other wages. If you are the victim this practice call us at (312) 869-4095 or contact us online by filling in the form at the side of this blog.

The Chicago unpaid overtime lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center have decades of experience fighting for wage earner’s rights. We have a team of Chicago unpaid overtime attorneys who focus on nationwide class action lawsuits and work out of Chicago and Oak Brook offices and prosecute claims for workers all over the Chicago area including Waukegan and Arlington Hts. We protect unpaid workers who haven’t received overtime throughout the Chicago area including in DuPage, McHenry Kane and Cook Counties.

Our Bollingbrook and Joliet overtime lawyers are intimately familiar with the issues that arise during wage claim litigation, and we know the laws that govern overtime cases well. Many employers misclassify employees as being exempt from overtime laws and pay workers salaries instead of hourly wages in order to avoid paying them overtime. Some employers mistakenly classify employees as exempt and others intentionally do so in order to circumvent the law. In either case, workers do not receive the wages they should, and a lawsuit may be the only way to recover their earned wages.

The Chicago Overtime Law Center is based in Chicago and represents clients throughout the country who have not been paid for the overtime hours that they worked. If you believe that you are owed overtime wages, contact one of our Chicago class action attorneys by phone at (312) 869-4095 or through our online form.