Janitor Makes $271,000 a Year -- In a Closet!
Last November, a nonprofit called Transparent California reported that a BART janitor named Liang Zhao Zhang made $271,000 in a single year — over $162,000 of that in the form of overtime.
Now, a KTVU investigation into Zhang's hours and pay revealed that he disappears into a storage closet at the Powell St. station, sometimes for hours a day.
In order to observe how Zhang spent his sometimes 17-hour work day, KTVU requested surveillance video from BART. On it, they saw 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.
Zhang tells the TV crew he is taking his meal breaks during that time, although a BART representative told KTVU employees eat their lunch in the separate break room. BART employees are normally given 30 minutes for lunch, although BART doesn't track their breaks.
There's probably a perfectly innocent explanation for this:
Last year, BART spokesperson Alicia Trost told SFGATE that Zhang was paid every single day in 2015 and provided a breakdown of his pay and benefits for the year:
For regular hours he did:
1420.73 regular hours
24 hours of protected sick leave
192 of vacation hours
48 hours of holiday pay
3.27 of administrative leave
For overtime he did:
63 hours of "holiday work"
1821.53 hours of time and a half (1.5 for regular day off 1).
601 hours of double time (2 for regular day off 2)
Transparent California found that Zhang worked 17 hours a day for 18 days in a row in July 2015, a feat that a writer from the nonprofit called "super human."
Unions: taking care of the little guy, so the little guy can take care of them.