If you’re going to require arbitration

of employees, don’t take too long

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Cleaning service sits on rights,

federal magistrate says: “go to trial”

 In 2003, 149 janitors based in Illinois and in Texas, all under contract with Contract Cleaning Services (or its affilates) sued for overtime, irregular pay periods, and improper payroll deductions. 

 The defendants claimed the janitors were independent contractors, and also claimed that they had signed arbitration agreements.

 In February 2004 the plaintiffs amended their complaint to bring in additional defendants.  In 2005 the court permitted the suit to proceed as a class action.

 This past June Magistrate Nan Nolan denied a motion to dismiss based on arbitration.  The court held that requiring it would prejudice the plaintiffs after a significant lapse of time.  The court noted that the arbitration provisions require prompt filing, and were the motion granted many arbitration claims would be dismissed under the applicable statutes of limitations.

 Vega et al v. Contract Cleaning Maintenance et al, No. 03 C 9130 (N.D. Ill. 2006), 11 WH Cases 2d 1121.

09/27/06