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NC Justice Center Settles Wage Theft Case for Durham Janitorial Workers


Raleigh, NC — In a victory for low-wage workers across the state, today (July 13) a federal court approved a settlement agreement providing $77,000 in back wage compensation to 149 janitorial workers in Durham.

Under the agreement, workers employed by Integrity Facilities Management, Inc. to clean Durham Public School buildings will receive payment for alleged unpaid overtime and underpayment of the required wage rate. They will also be compensated for late payment of wages.

Integrity Facilities Management, a subcontractor hired to clean a number of Durham school buildings, declared bankruptcy three years ago and failed to pay employees for their final weeks of work. After workers organized protests, the contractor, SSC Service Solutions, Inc., agreed to pay.  That payment, however, did not resolve all of the back wages due to those workers.

“After reviewing the payroll records, we realized that, in addition to not paying workers at all at the end of their employment, Integrity had failed to pay some workers the required wage rate for the work they performed,” said Carol Brooke, Staff Attorney for the NC Justice Center’s Workers’ Rights Project, who represented the workers. “In addition, overtime wages were not calculated correctly and in some cases were not paid at all.”

This victory comes on top of a win for these workers in bankruptcy court last year, when the Justice Center filed claims for the workers and secured a partial payment of the money owed to affected workers: $16,486.13, plus attorneys’ fees and costs.

The Justice Center then filed suit in December against the contractor and Durham Public Schools to recover the rest of the funds owed the workers. The settlement agreement approved today provides additional compensation for 149 workers, as well as payment of costs and fees.

“Cleaning the school buildings where children learn is important work,” says Brooke. “We are pleased that these hardworking individuals are finally being paid the wages they earned fair and square.”

The order, to be issued by Judge Loretta C. Biggs of the Middle District of North Carolina, will be available by request this afternoon.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT Carol Brooke,, 919.856.2144; Julia Hawes,, 919.863.2406.


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Phyllis Coley
Phyllis D. Coley is CEO/Publisher of Spectacular Magazine and Host of Spectacular Magazine Radio Show. With a B.A. in English from NCCU, the Durham native began her professional career as Promotions/Marketing Director for New York City’s WKTU-FM. While at the radio station, Coley discovered the rap group Kid ‘n Play and managed them for five years, guiding their music and movie careers to success. Moving back to Durham, Coley produced a nationally syndicated television show, The Electric Factory, while working as News Director for FOXY 107/104. In April 2002, recognizing a void in highlighting the achievements of African Americans, she started her own business publishing ACE Magazine. Coley launched Spectacular Magazine in November 2004. Recognizing the lack of pertinent and truthful information, Coley began Spectacular Magazine Radio Show in March 2009. Coley is the organizer of Durham's Annual MLK/Black History Month Parade and the Annual North Carolina Juneteenth Celebration. She currently serves on Central Children’s Home Board of Directors, Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Advisors, as Immediate Past Secretary of the Durham Rotary Club Board of Directors and is one of the founding members of the Triangle United Way’s African American Leadership Initiative.

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