Wis. AG gets $290K for employees of closed company

By Bryan Cohen | Jul 13, 2011

Van Hollen

SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. (Legal Newsline) - Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and Department of Workforce Development Secretary Scott Baumbach announced the recovery of more than $290,000 in settlement payments on Wednesday.

The fund permits 104 Wisconsin Food Gift employees to recover wages and benefits lost in the closing of the company, which formerly did business as Wisconsin Cheeseman, Scott's Fundraising Resources and Mille Lacs Gourmet Foods.

"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 DWD in enforcing the law when violations unfortunately occur."

The fund was recovered during the course of a Dane County Circuit Court case that led to the sale of the company to new owners. The company was placed in receivership February 16, and Judge Richard G. Niess approved the sale of the company June 29.

According to wage claim laws, eligible workers are entitled to payment of up to $3,000 in unpaid wages and benefits before most other creditors are paid. The 104 former workers will receive the full amount they are owed, or $3,000, whichever is less.

The payments will be processed by the DWD Division of Equal Rights to be mailed out to all 104 claimants as soon as possible. The division averages the collection of around $3 million per year in plant closing notice wages, wage claims and prevailing wage payments.

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