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Las Vegas janitors go for broke in lawsuit

August 26, 2009
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LAS VEGAS — Workers from Bravo Pro Maintenance Inc., a building service contractor that provides janitorial services for posh establishments like CatHouse at the Luxor, AquaKnox at The Venetian, Hard Rock Café, Trader Vic''s at Planet Hollywood and Red Square at the Mandalay Bay to name a few, are sueing the company and accusing it of exploiting workers, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
According to the story, the class-action lawsuit accuses Bravo Pro Maintenance of ripping off several hundred late-night janitors by promising to pay them $1,300 every two weeks in exchange for 13-hour workdays, no time off and no overtime, then only paying them a fraction of what was promised for their work.
The janitors, largely Spanish-speaking with marginal immigration paperwork, allege that Bravo Pro Maintenance immediately fell behind in paying them, and when they were eventually compensated, earnings averaged about $4.40 an hour, the story stated.
Some Bravo Pro Maintenance employees tried securing work directly through the restaurant or nightclub they were contracted to clean, but were rebuffed by management and instructed to navigate the proper channels, the story noted.
Attorney Matthew Callister, who is representing the janitors, said: "So many people need any job. People are willing to work for less and be stiffed on what they''re entitled to because they''re desperate. But that doesn''t make it right. They catch them in a kind of perpetual indentured servitude. It''s a huge embarrassment, and it does appear to be, tragically, a case of Mexicans targeting entry-level Mexicans ... with the full knowledge and complicity of the owners of the restaurants who knew better or should have known you could not provide that service at that price. When you have a private business operating within a privileged license-holder casino-hotel, is it something that the Gaming Control Board should take an interest in or not? Obviously, I think it should."
Callister believes the high-end establishments had full knowledge of the incredible deal it had with the maintenance company and did little to nothing to right a wrong situation, the story added.
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