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Security guards awarded $90 million in rest breaks case

A Los Angeles judge has awarded a $90-million judgment in an employment lawsuit brought by 15,000 former and present guards against a private security company.

In a ruling issued Friday, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge John S. Wiley ordered ABM Security Services of New York to pay back wages, interest and penalties to clients represented by the firm Roxborough, Pomerance, Nye & Adreani.

The lawsuit alleged that ABM violated the law by refusing to give off-duty rest breaks to security personnel at commercial buildings. The company argued that it required all of its employees remain on call, even when they were on legally required rest breaks.

ABM in a filing Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission said it “strongly disagrees with the decisions of the Superior Court, firmly believes that it has complied with applicable law and intends to vigorously appeal these decisions.”

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Drew Pomerance, who represented the plaintiffs, said ABM’s conduct sets an example for “how California businesses should not behave.”

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