Agreement reached to pay workers of bankrupt Wis. business

Nick Rees Jan. 5, 2010, 2:35pm

J.B. Van Hollen (R)

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (Legal Newsline) - Fifteen former employees will receive a total of $36,000 in compensation they lost when the Sheboygan, Wis., firm they worked for filed for bankruptcy, state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced.

"It is clear in Wisconsin that laws protecting the rights of workers to compensation must be followed," Van Hollen said. "The Wisconsin Department of Justice represents the Department of Workforce Development in enforcing the law when violations unfortunately occur. I am pleased the workers in this case will be justly compensated."

Reliant Glass & Door Systems LLC was placed into receivership under state bankruptcy provision Chapter 128 on January 13, 2009. The Wisconsin Department of Justice, representing the Department of Workforce Development, then filed a wage lien and a claim in the receivership.

The claim, made for unpaid vacation benefits, insurance deduction and medical bills, recovered $36,012.13 from the receivership for the 15 former workers, who will each share in the money.

Sheboygan County Circuit Court Judge James Bolgert approved the agreement between the state and John M. Wirth, the court appointed receiver.

Eligible workers, under the state's Wage Payments, Claims and Collections laws, are entitled to payment of up to $3,000 in unpaid wages before most other creditors may be paid. The 15 former workers in this case will either receive the full amount claimed or $3,000, whichever is lesser.

"In each of the last two years, DWD succeeded in collecting well over $2 million on behalf of thousands of workers and their families," Department of Workforce Development Secretary Roberta Gassman said. "This is another example of our strong, effective enforcement of state laws protecting workers, a collaborative effort with the Department of Justice."

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