Target store janitors reach wage settlement

Janitors who work for a company that cleans Twin Cities Target stores have reached a preliminary settlement in a class-action lawsuit over unpaid wages.

Dozens of janitors at Target stores in the Twin Cities sued their employer, Tampa, Fla.-based Diversified Maintenance Systems, alleging they were required to work up to 80 hours a week and weren't paid all the overtime wages they were due.

The settlement calls for Diversified Maintenance Systems to pay $675,000 and admit to no wrong-doing. Two-hundred to 250 janitors in the upper Midwest could benefit.

Brian Payne of the Minneapolis-based Center of Workers United in Struggle, who helped organize the workers, said the suit is part of a nationwide pattern.

"We see this more as a systemic problem," Payne said. "In the cleaning of Target stores around the country over the past 10 years, there's been at least five major federal lawsuits."

Target, which is not party to the suit, had no comment.

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