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MADISON - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that the Wisconsin Department of Justice has recovered $42,887.16 from First American Funding Company, LLC, for violations of State minimum wage laws between the dates of June, 2004 and April, 2006. The Department of Justice represents its client agency, the Department of Workforce Development, to enforce wage claim matters.
The Department of Workforce Development first received a complaint for unpaid minimum wages on November 1, 2002, from a former employee of the mortgage lending institution. DWD determined the claim to be valid, recovered the $1,524.40 for the employee, and directed First American to perform an audit of its payroll records to determine whether any other employees had not been paid the appropriate minimum wage.
On January 27, 2006, DWD received another complaint for unpaid minimum wages. DWD recovered $3,187.73 for that employee and, after receiving additional complaints, DWD conducted a full audit of First American's payroll records which determined that fourteen current and former employees were owed a total of $33,780.44 in unpaid minimum wages.
Unable to recover the wages found due as a result of the audit, DWD referred the claims to the Wisconsin Department of Justice in July, 2007. On October 1, 2008, DOJ obtained a judgment for $33,780.094 in unpaid wages and an additional $8,445.01 in increased wages, as provided by Wis. Stat. 109.11.
"Workers are entitled to their earnings for the work that they've done," said Attorney General Van Hollen. "DWD administers disputes over these requirements, and when necessary DOJ provides legal representation to enforce DWD's findings. This cooperation has resulted in workers receiving wages they were owed, but might otherwise have not received. We will continue to work to protect their interests."
"With this judgment, fourteen low-wage workers have now received the money they should have been paid all along," Secretary Gassman said. "A single complaint led to a full audit and eventual recovery of nearly $43,000 in back pay, thanks to the expert legal assistance of the Department of Justice. This is a good example of our departments working together on behalf of the hardworking people of Wisconsin."
The claim and settlement was processed by the Department of Justice on behalf of the Department of Workforce Development. Assistant Attorney General Will Ramsey handled the case.