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Cintas Employees Win Living Wage for LA Work

(CN) - A group of Cintas employees in Los Angeles are entitled to a living wage for their work on a city contract, even if they worked less than 20 hours per month for the city, a California appeals court ruled.

Hermelinda Aguilar and her co-workers with the clothing-service company challenged Regulation 5, which states that a worker must spend at least 20 hours per month in city contract work before qualifying for wages under the city's Living Wage Ordinance (LWO).

Justice Perluss of the 2nd Appellate District Court of Appeals agreed with the workers that the intent of the ordinance is to improve the standard of living for hourly city workers, regardless of how long they work.

"The plain language of the LWO, coupled with its legislative history," Perluss wrote, "reflect an unmistakable intent to afford a living wage to employees of city service contractors ... no matter how much or how little that participation may be."

Perluss outlawed Regulation 5, ruling that it "directly conflicts with the LWO's articulated remedial purpose of raising wages for low-wage service workers and ameliorating the burden placed on city social services caused by payment of inadequate compensation."

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