Imagine you are a property owner or manager over any number of properties. You hire various service providers to perform services such as landscaping, security, cleaning, etc. Moreover, you run a tight ship, timely paying the full amounts due to each service provider. Now, imagine one day you open your mail and see a demand for wages for an employee of your janitorial service provider. You know you paid the service provider, so why would you be on the hook for its employees’ wage claims?
Due to a recent change to Oregon law, janitorial service providers in Oregon must obtain a license from the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (“BOLI”). Correspondingly, property owners or managers that hire unlicensed janitorial service providers face potentially severe penalties, including:
- Joint and several liability for unpaid wages, employee claims of retaliation and discrimination, and related penalties
- Civil penalties imposed by BOLI
- Attorney fees related to all of the above
With these penalties at risk, and a case against a janitorial service provider already reaching litigation, property owners and managers are on notice to take action to protect themselves. In a separate article, we provide more detail on these revised laws and suggestions on how property owners and managers can react.
Tonkon Torp can help you negotiate your janitorial services agreement to require your janitorial service provider to comply with legal requirements and allocate risk of penalties. If you plan to engage a janitorial service provider, please consider reaching out to Rachel Atchison or Sam DeBaltzo