Massive Wage Theft Scheme Alleged at Downtown St. Paul Buildings Run by Madison Equities

Tenants in buildings where wage theft is alleged include state agencies like DEED

SAINT PAUL – Saint Paul security officers have brought wage theft complaints to the office of the Minnesota Attorney General around an alleged wage theft scheme that took thousands of dollars of wages from workers. The complaint alleges the Madison Equities had employees work 40 hours under one company and then had them “work” for a different “company” for time that should have been overtime time-and-a-half pay. The complaint alleges that workers were unpaid by many thousand of dollars.

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Multiple employees, both current and former, have provided evidence of the scheme to the AG’s office. The workers are currently non-union but have been working to join SEIU Local 26 to try and improve conditions for workers in St. Paul. In addition to the overtime issues, the group has also faced issues around being forced to provide a doctor’s note if they use their earned sick and safe time, which is against the rules based on the 2017 ordinance passed in St. Paul.

Tenants in Madison Equities buildings include multiple state agencies, including Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), whose lease is currently up for negotiations.

“The type of behavior alleged to be happening by Madison Equities has no place in St. Paul or anywhere else in Minnesota,” said SEIU Local 26 President Iris Altamirano. “It shouldn’t be a question that people are paid the correct amount for all of the hours that they work, and that they should be able to use sick time that they have accrued. I’m glad these workers are standing up for what is right, and I hope tenants like DEED are paying attention to what is happening to the security officers in their buildings.”

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SEIU Local 26 is Minnesota’s Property Services Union, uniting more than 4,200 janitors, 1000 security officers, airport workers and window cleaners in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. SEIU unites more than 225,000 property services workers nationally and over 1.9 million including workers in healthcare and the public sector.

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