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.
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.