BOSS WATCH: 10/20 - 10/27
Updated On: Nov 16, 2023

BOSS WATCH: 10/20 - 10/27

By JACOB MORRISON October 30, 2023

Illegal activities of Southern Bosses for the week ending on Friday, October 27

Less than six months after an investigation found three Kentucky fast-food franchisees employing more than 300 children outside of federally allowed hours, the U.S. Department of Labor has discovered another Louisville restaurant enterprise violating federal child labor laws, this time with 55 children at nine locations across the state.

Investigators from the department’s Wage and Hour Division determined Cock-A-Doodle-Doo LLC – operating as Roosters Wings – employed 14- and 15-year-olds to work beyond what is legally allowed at nine of its locations across Kentucky. The agency found these 55 employees working past 7 p.m. from the day after Labor Day through May 31, past 9 p.m. from June 1 through Labor Day, more than 8 hours on a non-school day and more than 18 hours during a school week.

The agency assessed $43,505 in penalties for Cock-A-Doodle-Doo to address the child labor violations.

In addition to the child labor violations, the employer failed to combine the hours when employees worked across multiple locations within the same workweek. By doing so, Cock-A-Doodle-Doo paid straight-time rates to the employees for all hours worked, instead of the time-and-a-half rate due for hours worked over 40, as the law requires. The agency recovered $182,125 in back wages and liquidated damages for seven workers to account for these violations.

Olin Corp., one of the world’s leading small arms and ammunition makers has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor in which the employer will pay $630,000 in back wages and interest to resolve alleged hiring discrimination against 286 Black and women applicants who applied for positions over two years at its Oxford facility.

A routine compliance investigation of Olin Corp. by the department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs alleged that from Dec. 9, 2017, through Dec. 9, 2019, the federal contractor violated Executive Order 11246 when hiring for Adjuster II positions. The order prohibits federal contractors from discriminating in employment based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin.

Olin Corp. entered into an early resolution conciliation agreement and agreed to take steps to make sure its selection process, personnel practices and hiring policies are free from discrimination. The employer will also offer jobs to 46 Black and female-affected applicants as positions become available.

According to an report written by Carol Robinson:

The chief financial officer for a Shelby County agency is accused of stealing nearly $200,000 to fund cosmetic surgery, a Florida vacation and more. Cindy Massey, 65, of Pell City, served as CFO for The Arc of Shelby County, an advocacy agency for child and adults with developmental disabilities.

Massey was booked into the Shelby County Jail this week on a theft of property charge and released the same day after posting a $30,000 bond.

From May 1, 2022, through Aug. 15, 2023, Massey and her 36-year-old daughter, Jennifer Massey, each used company credit cards to make hundreds of purchases in St. Clair, Shelby, and Jefferson counties, as well as over the internet, and in Florida, records state. Those purchases included rent on a personal residence, car payments, car repairs, veterinary services, at least one Florida vacation, cosmetic surgery procedures, inmate phone credits at the Shelby County Jail and internet purchases delivered to Pelham.

Massey then used her position as CFO to use Arc’s funds to pay the credit bills, according to the complaint.

Jennifer Massey is also charged with theft of property but has not yet been taken into custody. She is also charged with probation violation for a previous identity theft conviction.

Demonstrating the double standards of our System: because these people stole from a corporation, the punishment is jail time; but when a corporation steals from workers, the punishment is merely a "civil penalty."

Two employees of a national tank cleaning company suffered injuries when exposed to hydrogen sulfide – a flammable, highly toxic colorless gas – that was present during the cleaning process ­­of a tanker truck on April 25, 2023, in Beaumont. Two municipal firefighters responding to the scene also suffered injuries from the gas. 

Federal investigators determined the employer – Trimac Transportation Inc., which operates as National Tank Services – did not provide adequate respiratory protection, resulting in two employees being transported to the hospital, one of them being hospitalized due to the exposure. The first responders were treated on the scene. 

Investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration found National Tank Services did not evaluate the worksite for possible respiratory hazards like the one that sickened the workers, and did not monitor employees for exposure to other substances. 

The company also failed to provide workers with appropriate respirators, manage a required respiratory protection program to provide workers with medical evaluations prior to respirator use and conduct respiratory fit testing. 

OSHA proposed penalties of $399,349 to the company after citing nine health violations, including two willful, three repeat and four serious.  

Investigators also found National Tank Services again failed to provide protective clothing, eye, face and hand protection, did not label containers and failed to provide injury and illness logs to OSHA within four business hours, violations previously cited in the past five years at their facilities in Georgia, Louisiana and Texas.

Workers were also exposed to fall hazards because the company failed to install mid rails on the stairway and on the catwalk platform guardrail system. 

A subsidiary of Trimac Transportation of Canada, National Tank Services operates 30 maintenance and tank cleaning locations across North America.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of citations 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. 

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