Labor Contractors: Federal Investigations

Article excerpt

Byline: MATT GALNOR

HENRY CALLOWAY

2000: Investigated in Dover, Del. Fined $2,050 for not disclosing conditions to workers until they got there; providing less than 50 square feet in one of the rooms; letting unlicensed people drive workers; not having enough insurance; not registering as a contractor; and using an unregistered employee to supervise workers.

2001: Investigated in Palatka. Fined $1,300 for not disclosing conditions and misrepresenting conditions to workers; failing to post housing conditions; not providing safe vehicles or making sure the driver had a valid license; not registering employees; and not applying to amend his registration certificate.

RONALD EVANS SR.

1988: Investigated in Newton Grove, N.C. Fined $1,350 for not having enough insurance, using an unregistered labor contractor to supervise a crew and not amending his registration as a contractor.

1989: Paid $4,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by 12 former employees in North Carolina, claiming they weren't told of conditions of employment. The suit also claims Evans sold beer and crack at the camp, loaned money at "usurious" interest rates and told employees they owed him at the end of the week. Evans did not admit guilt in the settlement, but agreed to a list of regulations he'd follow.

1992: Investigated in Newton Grove, N.C. Fined $4,060 for nine different violations, including misrepresenting conditions to workers, not paying employees wages when due, not keeping payroll records; and providing housing that does not meet health and safety requirements.

WILLIE LEE "BUDDY" SIMMONS

1999: Investigated in Pomona Park. Case forwarded to U.S. Attorney, but nothing ever done, records show. Recommended fine of $11,900 for violations including not having a contractors license; not paying back fines due in 1991; not paying minimum wage to employees; charging 100 percent interest on wage advances; and not giving payroll records to employees.

RON UZZLE

1991: Investigated in Elkton. Fined $1,341 for minimum wage violations. The money was divided among three employees who were owed back wages.

1993: Investigated in Elkton. Fined $1,300 for failing to ensure safe and healthy housing.

1995: Investigated in Elkton. Fined $1,000 for unsafe transport of workers. A van with six workers was going 90 mph in Elkton, according to police. The van, which had at least one bald tire, hit a tree, killing three people including the driver. Everyone in the vehicle had high levels of alcohol and cocaine in their systems, police said.

1998: Investigated in Elkton. Fined $4,700 for violations including failing to disclose conditions to workers; not posting workers' rights and housing conditions; not keeping payroll records at least 3 years; not providing wage statements; using unsafe vehicles; using an uncertified and unlicensed driver; and not having enough insurance.

IZEAL WILLIS

1998: Investigated in Elkton. Fined $5,950 for unsafe housing conditions. Initially would be charged back wages because workers were charged $16 a week in rent, but investigators could not prove workers paid for the housing (not enough documentation in pay stubs). …

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