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January 06, 2004
DOL Files Second Lawsuit against Newspaper Company

The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit against a newspaper company in Connecticut, alleging violations of federal law for failure to pay employees of its newspapers the proper minimum wage and overtime.

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The December 2003 filing was the second lawsuit brought against The Journal Register Company East, Inc., for similar violations; the first suit was settled in April 2002.

Investigators in the department's Wage and Hour Division in Hartford say that workers employed as news reporters, photographers, and in other positions at The Register Citizen and Foothills Trader newspapers in Torrington, Connecticut, were being paid at rates less than the federal minimum wage and were not being paid properly for overtime hours worked. The department also alleges that the company violated federal recordkeeping requirements.

The department's suit seeks all back wages due the employees of the company for the period July 21, 2001 through the present, plus liquidated damages, various fines and costs. The suit also asks the court to compel the company's future compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act and to find the company in civil contempt for its failure to comply with a 2002 judgment.

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