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School district, cleaners at odds over employment violations

Students might require more than knowledgeable teachers and a comprehensive curriculum in order to learn at the best of their ability. A clean and tidy environment may also help students stay focused on their assignments and other tasks while in school. However, some Michigan schools may no longer have their halls mopped or their trash bins emptied because of alleged employment violations with the school district's cleaning company.

The cleaning company recently announced that it plans to no longer clean the schools that they were originally hired to care for. They say that they are owed over $18 million by the school district. In turn, the district claims that the cleaning company violated the terms of their contract by failing to actually keep the schools clean.

Furthermore, the school district plans to terminate the cleaning company's contract unless it is able to rectify the alleged failures. Apparently, those failures may have caused the district to suffer lost school days and damaged school equipment. However, the termination of the contract over these allegations may affect roughly 400 custodial workers. Although it has threatened to cease cleaning operations at the school, the cleaning company has stated that it intends to continue working at the schools through the end of the school year.

However, this isn't the first time that the Michigan school district and the cleaning company have had an alleged employment violation. Disputes in 2013 resulted in a similar layoff notice being filed by the company, although the two later worked out a payment plan and the notice was withdrawn. In some cases, a third party might prove to be a beneficial asset for negotiating and dissolving any claimed employment violations.

Source: Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Public Schools owes $18 million for unpaid custodial work, company says", Ann Zaniewski, May 7, 2014

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