BOSS WATCH: 8/18 - 8/25
Updated On: Oct 09, 2023

BOSS WATCH: 8/18 - 8/25

By JACOB MORRISON August 30, 2023

We have an Alabama employer on the list this week, and so many companies stealing from their employees and putting them in illegally-dangerous workplaces that we didn't have room for EEOC cases this week. It's bad, folks!

Illegal activities of Southern Bosses for the week ending on Friday, August 25


The Texas-based operator of an Eclectic, Alabama manufacturing facility could have prevented a 20-year-old worker from suffering an amputation if the employer had followed required federal safety standards, a U.S. Department of Labor investigation determined.

After Madix Inc. reported a March 23, 2023, employee injury, investigators with the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined that, as the worker tried to adjust a coolant feed line on a tube saw, his glove became caught, and his hand was pulled into the saw’s spinning blade. The worker then suffered the amputation of three fingers.

A manufacturer of retail shelving and displays, Madix received citations for two repeat, three serious and three other-than-serious violations and faces $158,051 in proposed penalties.

OSHA’s inspection found the company:

  • Allowed employees to perform maintenance on an automatic tube saw without following lockout-tagout procedures.

  • Did not ensure employees had the knowledge and skills to safely apply, use and remove energy controls on automatic tube cutters.

  • Permitted employees to operate a press machine with an unguarded material carriage, which exposed them to pinch-point hazards.

  • Failed to provide guards for a tube-cutting saw’s blades, leaving employees exposed to amputation hazards.

  • Did not repair a broken emergency stop button on the side control panel of an automatic saw.

Since 2018, OSHA inspections at two Madix Inc. facilities in Alabama and one in Texas have identified one willful violation and eight serious violations. The inspections included a 2019 OSHA investigation of an employee’s amputation injury in Eclectic that found similar machine guarding and lockout-tagout failures for which OSHA cited the company for three serious violations.

Madix employs about 500 workers in Eclectic.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


A federal workplace safety investigation has found that a Farmersville construction contractor could have prevented the loss of a 23-year-old employee by following required safety procedures for operating a mobile crane at an Aubrey work site.

Investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration learned that the worker and other employees of S&D Erectors Inc. were constructing a metal building when the crane collapsed in March 2023. The agency determined the company exposed its employees to struck-by hazards by overloading the crane beyond its weight limitations.

OSHA cited the company for four willful violations related to:

  • Not using temporary alternative measures when the load and radius cell did not work.

  • Operating a mobile crane in excess of its rated capacity.

  • Requiring the crane operator to operate the crane in a manner that exceeded its rated capacity.

OSHA also cited S&D Erectors for 11 serious violations for its failures to:

  • Create and employ an accident prevention program.

  • Perform frequent and regular inspections of the work site.

  • Meet federal safety standards for crane inspections, wire rope inspections and other hazards.

The agency has proposed $262,977 in penalties.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of citation and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


From 2010 to 2020, the Texas Workforce Commission ordered employer thieves to give back $99M. A rutgers study found that only 20% of that has been recovered by the workers. 

The Dallas Morning News told one workers story:

Oscar Torres has logged hours working at construction sites across Dallas-Fort Worth throughout the last seven years. Six times now, he hasn’t been rightfully paid, he said, losing upwards of $5,000.

He’s tried to recover those unpaid wages, filing claims with the Texas Workforce Commission. Despite an order being ruled in his favor signaling that his employer owed him money, he’s never seen a nickel of it.

The report also found that 3 million Texans have been paid less than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 - and that’s just one form of wage theft. 

The report claims that the average worker in Texas loses $4,000 to wage theft every year in Texas, totaling over $12B in losses to employer theft in the last 14 years. 

While average wages ordered per claim continued to rise from $1,613 in 2010 to $2,249 in 2020, the average amount paid during the same period declined slightly from $435 to $406.

To be fair - the Texas Workforce Commission disputes the total number of unpaid claims - they claim that only 40% remain unpaid instead of 80%. Still not a good number!

Dishonorable Mentions:

  • Dollar Tree made an agreement with OSHA to conduct a nationwide safety assessment and fix issues or face 100,000 per day of violation up to 500,000. They also agreed to pay 1.35M in penalties and fines.  OSHA has issued 403 violations at Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores since 2017, resulting in more than $13.1 million in fines to date.

  • Investigators with the department’s Wage and Hour Division found the North Carolina home health care service Community Alternative Housing paid employees straight-time rates for all hours worked. By doing so, the employer failed to pay the employees a time-and-a-half premium for hours over 40 in a workweek, an overtime violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The DOL recovered $174,751 for 50 workers.

  • Investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found the employer deducted lunch breaks automatically without first making sure workers did, in fact, take a lunch break. The automatic deduction caused overtime and recordkeeping violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The DOL recovered $103K in back wages and damages for 104 workers

  • Two Sonic Drive-In franchisees in South Carolina found 91 children under age 16 working longer and later than legally allowed by child labor provisions in the Fair Labor Standards Act. The DOL assessed about $60k in civil money penalties for the violations

  • Twice within two months in 2023, U.S. Department of Labor inspectors observed Missouri contractor Cheltenham Construction Services — a company with a history of workplace safety violations dating back to 2015 — once again exposing employees to deadly fall hazards as they performed siding and roofing work in Lake St. Louis and O’Fallon. OSHA proposed $334k in fines. 

  • A federal investigation has found that a Virginia-based information technology support company under contract with the U.S. Marine Corps in North Carolina incorrectly classified 10 workers as exempt from overtime, leading to the recovery of $77,627 in back wages and benefits owed to them.

  • A federal investigation has found that a San Antonio wire drawing company could have prevented an employee from suffering fatal injuries by following required workplace safety standards. OSHA proposed $300k in fines for the violations.

  • The U.S. Department of Labor filed a lawsuit against Tyler Pipe Company alleging violations of federal whistleblower protections after the company fired an employee because they requested to use a respirator to protect them from smoke and fumes in the work area. The Department is seeking to make the employee whole. 

  •  U.S. Department of Labor investigators found  5 Florida skating rinks allowed 33 employees – 14- and 15-year-olds – to work outside of legally allowed hours, a violation of the child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The department proposed $26k in civil money penalties.

Finally, a warning for bosses in New Orleans: The Wage and Hour Division’s New Orleans District Office and the Workplace Justice Project, a  non-profit worker advocacy organization, signed a memorandum of understanding to improve both organizations’ effectiveness in providing critical services to low-wage workers. The memorandum establishes a partnership that will cross-train staff on how to identify labor violations and increase information sharing between the agencies to help prevent and respond to potential federal violations better. The initiative will also improve both agencies’ ability to educate workers on their labor rights and protections.

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