SEIU-USWW v. Preferred Building Services, Inc.Annotate this Case
Janitors worked for VPM providing janitorial services at a residential complex (the Site). VPM and the Union executed an agreement, providing that, if VPM terminated its janitorial contract with the Site, VPM would offer a severance package to employees who executed an agreement stating they were voluntarily resigning and releasing all claims against VPM. The Termination Agreement stated: “[N]either the Union nor any bargaining unit employee waives any rights under the Displaced Janitors Opportunity Act to require any successor employer to offer employment to existing employees ” VPM terminated its janitorial contract with the Site. Janitors signed Separation Agreements stating the employee was voluntarily resigning, providing lump-sum payments, and releasing all claims against VPM. Days later, Successor began providing janitorial services at the Site; Janitors appeared at the Site and asserted their right to retention. Successor did not retain any of the Janitors.
Plaintiffs sued Successor under the Displaced Janitor Opportunity Act (Lab. Code 1060–1065; DJOA), and the Displaced Worker Protection Act. The court of appeal affirmed an award of summary judgment and attorney fees in favor of the Union and Janitors. The court rejected arguments concerning the “voluntary resignations” and that VPM stopped providing services a few days before the nominal end of the contract and, therefore, had no employees “at the time of contract termination.”