BOSS WATCH: 3/29 - 4/5
Updated On: Apr 30, 2024

By JACOB MORRISON | April 8, 2024

Illegal activities of Southern Bosses for the weeks between Friday, March 29 and Friday, April 5


Federal workplace safety inspectors found a Missouri roofing contractor again risking the safety of its employees by failing to protect them against the construction industry’s deadliest hazard — falls from heights — at five residential worksites in Wentzville in October and November 2023. 

Inspectors with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration opened investigations after observing H R Vasquez Construction LLC employees working on roofs without required fall protection equipment at separate sites on Oct. 25, 27, 30, Nov. 2 and Nov. 28, 2023.

Specifically, OSHA found the St. Louis company did not provide employees with fall protection as they worked at heights greater than six feet and failed to ensure workers using pneumatic nail guns wore personal eye and face protective equipment. H R Vasquez Construction also allowed the improper use of ladders, had not developed a written hazard communication program and did not begin or maintain an accident prevention program. 

In all, OSHA cited the company for 13 violations – nine repeat, three serious and one other-than-serious – and assessed $267,332 in proposed penalties. 

Since 2021, the agency has cited the contractor seven times for putting roofing workers in danger. The agency first identified three serious violations related to a lack of required fall protection by H R Vasquez Construction in October 2021 at a Ballwin work site. Another inspection in Chesterfield in June 2022 led OSHA to cite the company for two repeat violations

In 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 1,069 construction workers died on the job. Of those deaths, 395 were related to falls from elevation.

As part of a continuing effort to prevent fall-related fatalities in construction, the agency, industry and safety groups, and other worker advocates are encouraging construction employers and workers to join the 11th annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction, May 6-10, 2024. Partnering with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, National Occupational Research Agenda, Center for Construction Research and Training, American Society of Safety Professionals, National Safety Council, National Construction Safety Executives, OSHA Training Institute Education Centers, state consultation programs and OSHA-approved state plans, the agency invites employers and workers to learn how to conduct a safety stand-down and view a video on fall safety that includes a message from a former construction worker and fall survivor.


While mortuary workers are called on to provide after-life care for the deceased and compassion for the bereaved, a federal investigation has found the operators of an Oklahoma City mortuary were less than caring when it came to paying dozens of workers overtime wages they rightfully earned.

A U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigation has recovered $231,390 in back wages and an equal amount in damages for 66 employees of Stillwell Limited Inc. — operator of Alpha & Omega Mortuary Service and Crematory — after learning the employer paid them straight-time rates for all hours worked, instead of paying time-and-one-half their regular rate-of-pay for hours over 40 in a workweek. A review of company records showed many of the affected workers earned low wages and often worked more than 50 hours per week.

The division determined the employer paid employees on a semi-monthly basis and failed to keep accurate records, as required by federal law


RSPS Holdings and SRS Milledgeville, franchisors of the popular fast-casual barbeque restaurant Shane’s Rib Shack, have agreed to pay $56,500 and provide other relief to settle a lawsuit for sexual harassment and retaliation filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, the companies violated federal law when they subjected a teenage female employee at its Milledgeville, Georgia location to a hostile work environment based on her sex, then fired her in retaliation for complaining.

The employee — who was a college freshman at the time — was sexually harassed by an older male manager from September to December 2021. During that time, the manager made daily unwanted comments about the female employee’s physical appearance and his romantic feelings for her; spread false sexual rumors about her; and cornered her in areas of the restaurant without cameras, demanding a hug or attention from her before allowing her to pass by.

According to the suit, the female employee complained about the harassment to her supervisor on multiple occasions, but the supervisor took no effective remedial actions. Instead, the restaurant terminated her shortly after her last complaint and provided no plausible explanation for doing so.

Such alleged conduct violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sexual harassment and retaliation against those who complain about it. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, Macon Division after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its administrative conciliation process.

The federal court approved the two-year consent decree resolving the EEOC’s lawsuit. In the decree, in addition to providing monetary relief to the victim, the companies have agreed to revise and distribute their anti-harassment and anti-retaliation policies, post a notice in the workplace informing employees of the settlement, and provide specialized training to all supervisors, managers and employees. Furthermore, the companies have agreed to provide the EEOC with periodic reports regarding any future employee complaints of sexual harassment or retaliation including a description of each employee’s allegations and the companies’ response.


  • An Austin, TX subsidiary of Cavco Industries Inc., one of the nation’s largest producers of modular and manufactured homes, faces $272,479 in penalties after federal investigators found the company exposing employees to more than two dozen serious violations during an October 2023 inspection. Since 2015, OSHA has cited Cavco with 38 workplace safety and health violations at manufacturing facilities in four states.

  • U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigators found the Lexington pub and restaurant Krafty Draft Brew Pub illegally distributed tips and failed to pay a cash wage of at least $2.13 per hour directly to tipped employees. The DOL recovered $125,819 in stolen wages for 23 workers

  • U.S. DOL Wage and Hour Division investigators found Williams Plumbing & Associates paid employees a time-and-a-half rate for only the first five hours over 40 in a workweek. After that, the employer reverted to paying employees their regular rate of pay for all hours after 45. The DOL recovered $25,364 in stolen wages and liquidated damages for 17 workers.          

  • Drug and medical testing supply company American Screening, LLC, has agreed to pay $50,000 and provide other relief to settle a race discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which alleged the company fired a black employee for wearing her hair natural, and replaced her with a white employee.

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