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Cleaning company founder apologizes for 'unintended delayed payments'


The founder of a B.C.-based cleaning company is apologizing following CTV News' reporting that numerous contractors were not compensated for their work.

Scrubbi CEO Daniel Deckert issued a statement Tuesday, acknowledging "unintended delayed payments" to cleaners and saying he is sorry for the "adverse impact" it had on those workers and their families.

"We value our cleaning professionals, and I am personally overseeing that unnecessary delays never happen again," the statement said, attributing the delays to a change in the company's method of payment processing.

"We have abandoned our new payment processing system and reverted to our previous system. We are also trying to determine if additional cleaning professionals are impacted."

The apology comes a week after CTV News first reported on the issue, sharing the stories of three women – one in Vancouver, one in Ottawa, and one in Victoria – who all said they had been waiting weeks or months for payment. Further, they said that the company seemed to ignore their attempts to follow up. 

"They don't seem to care," said Jessica Davis, a mom who lives in Ottawa. 

Just hours after CTV News contacted the company to inquire about those first cases, the workers were paid.

But more cleaners kept coming forward with similar stories, whether they were located in B.C., Ontario, or Saskatchewan. The amounts they said they were owed ranged from $400 to nearly $2,000. Not all of their issues were recent; some reported payment issues dating back to the summer of 2022.

A former employee from the company's head office also spoke to CTV News, saying calls from distressed contractors who were missing pay were commonplace.

"Daily, we were getting about five, six different contractors calling, wanting to get payment," said Sonia Cheeba, who worked for Scrubbi for nearly a year and a half.

She said the tough phone conversations were the main reason she left the Canada-wide company.

"They couldn't pay their bills, they were crying, some of them got their cars repo'd," Cheema said.

Deckert's statement says his company’s vison was to "elevate the cleaning profession beyond stereotypes," to pay the contractors well and to allow them to keep all their tips and set flexible schedules.

"While we recently fell short of our obligations in some cases, you have my renewed commitment to demonstrate how much we value our cleaning professionals and clients," his apology ends.

Experts have also noted the uphill battle individual workers trying to fight the company for payment would face, particularly since many of them are racialized women or recent immigrants, as well as because they are classified as independent contractors who lack the legal protections of employees.

With files from CTV News Vancouver's Kevin Charach and Angela Jung Top Stories

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