When people go to the movies, they typically take for granted all the hard work being done behind the scenes by the janitors to keep the theaters clean. It appears that, in some cases, the cleaning companies and the theater owners also take the hard work for granted. A group of janitors who worked for a company that cleans for the Texas-based movie giant Cinemark allege that they are the victims of several wage and hour violations, resulting in them going forward with a lawsuit.
Seven former workers filed a class action complaint on their own behalves, as well as on the behalves of any other janitors who worked for Simply Right, Inc., in the same state from May 2012. According to their complaint, they were hired incorrectly as independent contractors. This was allegedly done to lower payroll costs. Contractors are not eligible for many different benefits, including unemployment insurance and workers' compensation. Many of these workers are then subject to paying higher taxes as a result.
Two of the main plaintiffs claim that they collectively worked a total of approximately 138.75 hours each week. They were allegedly paid a flat rate for all the hours that they worked. This resulted in the janitors being paid below the minimum wage, which was typically approximately $3.57 to $5.55 per hour. The plaintiffs also purportedly were not paid for overtime.
The CIO of Simply Right stated that the plaintiffs are only taking advantage of the tragic shooting that occurred in 2012 that put Cinemark in the news. Although Cinemark does not directly hire the plaintiffs, it is involved in the complaint because the work is happening on its premises, and it is able to benefit from the lower labor costs. The workers are accusing both companies of wage and hour violations and are asking for their lost wages. Similarly situated Texas workers who notice pay discrepancies and do not have their problems resolved may choose to move forward in an attempt to collect the money they believe to be owed.
Source: bizjournals.com, "Colorado janitors sue Cinemark alleging violation of labor laws", Monica Mendoza, May 12, 2015