Shakopee Company Accused of Violating Labor Laws
The U.S Department of Labor filed a lawsuit on Friday against Shakopee-based Hawkins Tree and Landscaping, Inc., for violating labor laws that affected 67 of its employees.
According to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Minnesota, Hawkins Tree and Landscaping failed to pay its payroll workers for overtime and also shorted employees who were paid in cash and/or non-payroll checks.
The suit alleges that some employees that were on the company's payroll since 2006 worked more than 40 hours in some work weeks and were not paid overtime premiums for those hours. The overtime hours were instead paid as straight time on separate non-payroll checks.
In addition, the U.S Department of Labor alleges that workers who were not on the company's payroll and those characterized as independent contractors were not paid for all the hours they worked or for overtime hours.
U.S Department of Labor attorneys are seeking back wages and damages for the 67 employees who were stiffed by the company.
A Thursday morning phone call to Craig Cascarano, an attorney for Hawkins Tree and Landscaping, was not immediately returned, but the Star Tribune reported that the company is trying to settle the case to avoid litigation.