Important Reminder for Janitorial Business Owners: Property Service Worker Protection Act

Author, Jeremy Hoolihan, Account Executive, Construction Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Women standing in hallway with a cleaning cart.

A few of my janitorial clients have recently asked for information on the Property Service Worker Protection Act (AB 1978) and its requirements. Below is a description of the law and instructions on registering. As a reminder, the deadline for all janitorial service providers to register for the Property Service Worker Protection Act was October 1, 2018. If you have not yet registered, I would recommend doing so, as soon as possible.

 AB 1978 is a law to protect janitors against wage theft and sexual harassment. The law is designed to move the janitorial industry into a modern and transparent industry. There are three main legal mechanisms: record keeping, registration with the Labor Commissioner’s Office, and sexual harassment prevention training.


Every employer must keep the following accurate records for three years, showing all of the following:

  • The names and addresses of all employees who perform janitorial or cleaning services.

  • The hours worked daily by each employee, including the start and stop times of each work period.

  • The wage and hourly rate paid each payroll period.

  • The age of all minor employees.

  • Any other conditions of employment.


Every employer who provides janitorial services with a least one employee and one janitor must register with the Labor Commission. An “employer” is broadly defined as any person or entity that employs at least one employee and one or more covered workers and that enters into contracts, subcontracts, or franchise arrangements to provide janitorial services must register yearly with the Labor Commissioner’s office.

To register, an employer must pay a $500 nonrefundable application fee. The registration is valid for one year and must be renewed annually by the month and day of the original registration’s issuance. The renewal fee is also $500. A janitorial employer who fails to register is subject to a civil fine of $100 for each calendar day that the employer is unregistered, not to exceed $10,000.

The documents required to register include:

  • Fictitious Business Name Statement(s) (doing business as (DBA) for all business name(s) you use or intend to use.

  • State Employer Identification Number (SEIN) or application for it.

  • Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or application for it.

  • Articles of Incorporation, if you are a corporation.

  • Articles of Organization, if you are a limited liability company (LLC).

  • Certificate of Limited Partnership, if you are a limited partnership.

  • Secretary of State Statement of Information, if you are a corporation or LLC.

  • Proof of workers’ compensation coverage via one of the following:

    • A valid workers’ compensation insurance certificate which must include the complete and correct name of the legal entity that is the insured employer, including fictitious business names and the complete and correct address for each location.

    • Certificate of authority to self-insure.

    • If contracting with an employee leasing company, a current workers’ compensation insurance certificate that is provided to you by the employee leasing company.

Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

The Property Service Workers Protection Act requires janitorial services employers to provide training in the prevention of sexual violence and harassment at least once every two years.

 Until the training requirements are established pursuant to Labor Code section 1429.5, employers may meet this obligation by giving employees the Department of Fair Employment and Housing pamphlet DFEH–185, “Sexual Harassment,” in English or Spanish, as appropriate.

 Rancho Mesa clients have access to discounted Sexual Harassment Prevention training online in both English and Spanish through the Risk Management Center. Contact Alyssa Burley at (619) 438-6869 for more information.

 For more information about the Property Service Workers Protection Act, visit the Department of Industrial Relations website.