SF Janitorial Company to Pay $1.34 Million to Workers Over Denied Benefits

The San Francisco City Attorney’s Office today announced a settlement with a San Francisco-based janitorial company resulting in the payment of more than $1.3 million to employees who were denied health care benefits to which they were entitled under the Healthy San Francisco program.

In a ruling in San Francisco Superior Court on Monday, GMG Janitorial, Inc., was found to have failed to make the required payments on behalf of its workers between 2008 and 2010, and subsequently ordered to pay about $1.34 million to 275 of its current and former employees, the city attorney’s office said.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera said in a statement he hopes that the ruling “sends an unmistakable message that our Health Care Security Ordinance has teeth, and that we’re committed to enforcing it aggressively.”

The company is required to pay installments of at least $200,000 every six months to eligible employees, the city attorney’s office said.

GMG Janitorial initially filed suit in Superior Court in 2012, arguing that the city’s Office of Labor Standards Enforcement exceeded its authority under local law by ordering full restitution and that the administrative law judge’s findings were unsupported by the evidence.

Office of Labor Standards Enforcement division manager Donna Levitt said that when the case initially came to her offices’ attention, workers at GMG Janitorial weren’t getting their health care needs addressed.

She said GMG started providing workers with health care benefits after her office began its investigation.

“When low-wage workers are denied their rightful health care benefits, the human consequences are incalculable,” said Levitt said.

Hannah Albarazi, Bay City News

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