BOSS WATCH: 9/16 - 9/22
Updated On: Nov 06, 2023

BOSS WATCH: 9/16 - 9/22

By JACOB MORRISON September 26, 2023

Illegal activities of Southern Bosses for the week ending on Friday, September 22

WHNT reported last week on a familiar story to people that have spent any amount of time in the service industry: Struts on Pine - a restaurant in Muscle Shoals closed without notice to employees, leaving 24 workers not only without a job but without a check for work already performed. 

This happens all too often, despite the fact that employees are expected to give at least a two weeks notice before leaving a job, and some employers having even sued  to try to keep workers from quitting. Yet, employers can leave us high and dry with nothing. 

The workers have organized a GoFundMe and we created a short link for it: TVLR.FM/GoFundMe, donate if you can.

A federal investigation of a San Antonio-based company has recovered more than $1.1 million in back wages for 238 employees whose employer failed to make payroll on two occasions on Dec. 26, 2022, and Jan. 8, 2023.

The recovery follows a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigation of Water Energy Services LLC, which provides water reclamation services for the energy industry, that determined the missed payrolls caused minimum wage and overtime violations.

“Workers in the oil and gas industry make essential contributions to our region’s economy and its ability to grow,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Cynthia Ramos in San Antonio, Texas. “Federal law requires that employees are paid all their rightfully earned wages and benefits. Our investigation has helped us recover wages owed to Water Energy Services’ employees for their hard work.”

A federal workplace safety and health investigation has determined a Hialeah roofing contractor could have prevented a 28-year-old employee’s fatal injuries after a 40-foot fall through a commercial roof to a concrete surface below in Miami Gardens in March 2023 by following federal safety standards.

Investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration responded to the site and learned that, as five employees of Sealed Tight Roofing Inc. worked to replace the roof, one fell through a section of the existing roof that collapsed as the worker was moving a debris-filled wheelbarrow. The worker was transported to a hospital but later died. 

OSHA determined Sealed Tight Roofing Inc., operating as Oceans Roofing & Waterproofing Corp., exposed employees to fall hazards up to 40 feet by not providing fall protection or personal fall arrest systems. The company also failed to install covers or guardrail systems around holes in the roof and did not make certain working surfaces had the strength and integrity to safely support the workers.

Sealed Tight Roofing received citations for one willful violation and two serious violations and faces $84,379 in proposed penalties, an amount set by federal statutes. 
Companies have 15 business days from receipt of their citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA, or – as Sealed Tight Roofing has done – contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

A Georgia-based concrete pipe manufacturer could have prevented a 19-year-old worker from suffering fatal injuries after a concrete mixer restarted while the teen tried to clean the machine’s inside in Cantonment in March 2023.

An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined two employees of Foley Products Company LLC climbed inside the mixer initially to use a hammer and chisel to chip away hardened concrete. As one of the workers left the mixer, the machine restarted with the other inside. 

OSHA inspectors cited the company for willfully exposing workers to crushed-by hazards by allowing them to enter the mixer without making sure to first follow energy-control procedures. The agency also found the company exposed workers to confined spaces hazards by not making sure a safe atmosphere existed inside the mixer before the workers entered and by failing to have an attendant ready to retrieve workers safely. OSHA also determined the company did not make certain workers were trained and that they understood the safe application and removal of energy controls before servicing machines. 

Foley Products Company received one willful violation and six serious violations. The company faces $245,546 in proposed penalties.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA – as Foley Products Company has done – or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

  • The US DOL alleges that Battle Fish North, a Tunica, Mississippi-based fish farm and processing plant, and their owners and operators retaliated against and intimidated workers in violation of federal law during an investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division, including by threatening employees if they did not lie to investigators. 

  • The US DOL recovered over $120,000 in back wages and damages for 35 South Carolina workers who had their wages stolen by Hill Plumbing and Electric Company.

  • Safety investigators found that Holmes Foods, a Nixon, TX poultry processor, failed to provide eye protection, did not even develop lock out tag out procedures, and failed to guard rotating shafts, chains, and sprockets. OSHA is proposing $60,000 in penalties. 

  • Hammock Beach Golf Resort and Spa in Palm Coast, FL violated federal laws requiring employers to provide workplace accommodations for workers who need to pump breast milk. Additionally, the employer violated federal child labor laws, employing children between the ages of 14 and 15 to work longer than federal law permits.

  • A 59 year old worker for Cedar Head LLC in Colquitt, GA became engulfed and suffocated in a grain silo. The death could have been prevented had the employer followed federal safety standards. OSHA is proposing $41,000 in penalties for the company’s violations.

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