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A Casper businessman has paid $21,000 in back wages to 10 former employees in Wyoming.
The United States Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) sued Jan Charles Gray individually as well his business, Mount Rushmore Broadcasting Inc., of Casper, claiming that workers at Mt. Rushmore, as far back as August 2008, were neither paid the federal minimum wage nor paid overtime when they worked over 40 hours in a week. The WHD also charged Gray and the businesses with keeping inadequate records.
In addition to the monetary settlement, Gray and his business have also been ordered to train managers and employees about their rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), pay in accordance with the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the law, maintain accurate records, and not retaliate against any employee who files a complaint with, or cooperates in an investigation by the WHD. The injunctions are permanent and apply to the businesses investigated, as well as to Gray, individually; the training provisions apply for three years, not only to the businesses investigated, but to any business in which Gray has an ownership interest of 50 percent or greater.
“The filing is bogus and unfortunate,” Gray told the Casper Star-Tribune at the time he and his business were sued. “The accusations themselves are not accurate, [coming] from disgruntled former employees, some of whom are convicted felons.
“This is an unconstitutional action by the Department of Labor to target small business,” he told the paper.
Gray has paid all the wages due and has signed a consent judgment in the U.S. District Courts for the District of Wyoming.
“The courts’ rulings make a strong statement about the importance of an employer’s obligation to comply with the law,” said Cynthia Watson, the Wage and Hour Division’s regional administrator in Dallas, Texas. “We are committed to securing lasting compliance with the labor laws we enforce, and we are pleased that the judges in these cases enjoined the defendants from further violations of the FLSA.”
Diane Cadrain is an attorney who has been writing about employment law issues for more than 20 years.
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