$270,000 Janitor Salary

Updated: Apr 3, 2018

A BART Employee Collected More than $162,000 in Overtime Pay

A Bay Area Rapid Transit janitor made approximately $270,000 in 2015, including more than $162,000 in overtime pay.

Liang Zhao Zhang – one of 50 BART janitors who made more than $100,000 in 2015 –regularly worked 17-hour days for the government-run train agency, for up to 18 consecutive days.

KTVU television obtained surveillance video from BART and conducted its own surveillance of the janitor to see how he spent his 17-hour work days. The television station found that the janitor stays very busy mopping, sweeping, picking up trash, etc., but he also “disappears into a storage closet at the Powell Street station, sometimes for hours a day.”

KTVU reported that the tapes show Mr. Zhang “entering a storage closet twice in one day, once for 54 minutes and again for 90 minutes later in the day; … on another day, they observed Zhang in the closet for 90 minutes in the afternoon and another 78 minutes in the evening.”

Mr. Zhang said he was taking meal breaks, but BART officials said employees eat in a separate break room.

The investigation into the well-paid janitor’s schedule revealed that BART doesn’t track its employees’ breaks; that Mr. Zhang failed to clock in or out 16 times in one year, without discipline; that BART “has never conducted an extensive investigation of Zhang’s time cards, despite the janitor earning more than $705,000 in pay and benefits during the four years from 2012 to 2015”; and that it likely would be cheaper – and better in terms of cleanliness – to hire additional janitors rather than allowing fatigued employees to work overtime on a routine basis. (Source: KTVU, February 5.)

California Tax Foundation   |   1215 K Street, Sacramento, CA 95814   |   916.441.0490   |   foundation@caltax.org