American Building Maintenance (ABM) represents a collective of companies involved in two lawsuits centered on unpaid overtime and missed meal and rest breaks that were allegedly denied workers - a violation of Washington State employment laws. Employees, under the law, are entitled to regular rest breaks and a meal period as a means to promote good health, quality work and a safe work environment. The theory holds that work suffers when employees are tired and/or hungry, and that employees are more prone to accidents. Employees are also entitled to overtime pay for hours (or days) spent working beyond the standard workweek.
The foregoing is entrenched in Washington State labor law.
One of the two cases is identified as Khadera et al v. ABM Industries Incorporated and American Building Maintenance Co. West, Case # C08-0417 RSM. The allegation held that the defendant(s) failed to provide workers with overtime pay or meal/rest periods. A settlement was approved in March of last year in the sum of $1.8 million. If approved, the settlement would be divided up amongst class participants and attorneys representing the plaintiffs.
The class-action lawsuit was originally filed March 24, 2008, in US District Court for the State of Washington, Western District, at Seattle. The Washington Labor Law settlement was reached with the help of mediation.
In a similar Washington state overtime lawsuit, ABM settled litigation identified as Simpson v. ABM Janitorial Services-Northwest and ABM Industries Incorporated, a case filed September 24, 2010, in Superior Court for the State of Washington in, and for King County.
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On the same day the Khadera case was mediated, both parties in the Simpson case accepted a mediator’s proposal of $1.2 million, with proceeds (if approved) divided up amongst the various class members and attorneys for the plaintiffs.
In both cases, the mediated settlement included legal fees. ABM Industries reportedly articulated the two lawsuits and the pending settlements in a Form 10-Q filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on September 6 of last year. The company has set aside $1.8 million and $1.2 million respectively in anticipation of court approval of the proposed mediated settlements.
The lawsuits uphold Washington employee rights with regard to these matters.