WASHINGTON, DC – Attorney General Brian L. Schwalb today announced that Clean Team Janitorial Service, Inc. (Clean Team) will pay more than $260,000 to janitorial workers and the District to resolve allegations that the company underpaid workers from 2020 to 2023. Under the terms of a settlement agreement with the Office of the Attorney General (OAG), Clean Team will pay $220,561 in unpaid wages and damages to 33 workers who were paid less than they were legally owed. Clean Team will also be required to pay $40,000 in penalties to the District and must submit to monitoring by OAG for the next two years.
“The Office of the Attorney General is committed to ensuring that DC workers receive the wages and benefits they are legally entitled to and that they have rightfully earned,” said Attorney General Schwalb. “District businesses must comply with the law and compete on a level playing field. When employers short-change their employees, they not only harm their workers but they also gain an unfair competitive advantage over other businesses that are playing by the rules. Our office will continue to hold businesses who cheat fully accountable.”
Clean Team is a janitorial company that operates in the District and has contracted with the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water) for cleaning services at five sites. The Service Contract Act (SCA) is a federal law that sets minimum wages and benefits for federal and DC government contractors. From at least 2020 until 2023, the SCA set a minimum wage for government contractors in DC that was higher than DC’s general minimum wage.
An investigation by OAG revealed that from 2020 through 2023, Clean Team improperly paid 33 workers subcontracted to DC Water less than the minimum wage set by the SCA. Clean Team also allegedly withheld benefits owed to workers under the SCA.
Clean Team cooperated with OAG’s investigation. Under the terms of a settlement resolving allegations that Clean Team underpaid workers between 2020 and 2023, the company must:
- Pay $220,561 to workers. Clean Team will pay 33 workers the wages they are owed as well as damages.
- Pay $40,000 in civil penalties to the District.
- Submit to monitoring for two years. Clean Team must submit reports demonstrating compliance with wage and hour laws to OAG for two years.
The settlement agreement is available here.
This matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Zack Hill, Assistant Section Chief Randy Chen, and Section Chief Graham Lake.
OAG’s Efforts to Protect Workers
OAG’s Workers’ Rights and Antifraud Section is dedicated to fighting wage theft and protecting District workers. Since January 2023, OAG has secured more than $6 million for workers and the District. In total, since gaining wage theft enforcement authority, OAG has secured over $21 million by bringing investigations and lawsuits against employers who violate District law. OAG’s wage theft enforcement efforts have focused on industries with high populations of vulnerable workers, such as construction, restaurants and hospitality, healthcare, and the gig economy. OAG also released a report about how worker misclassification hurts workers, undercuts law-abiding businesses, and cheats taxpayers. Click here to learn about many of OAG’s legal victories standing up for workers’ rights.
How to Report Wage and Hour Violations
Workers who believe that their rights have been violated, or that they have experienced wage theft or other wage and hour violations, can contact OAG by calling (202) 442-9828 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.