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Consumer Fraud 1449 articles

RMK investor awarded more than $250,000 to cover bad fund losses

Earlier this month, it was announced that Morgan Keegan & Co., the brokerage firm owned by Regions Financial Corp., would be required to repay an investor $267,711 for losses suffered by the collapse of Regions Morgan Keegan investment funds. According to CCNMoney, this is the largest bond fund arbitration award to date. Hundreds of investors lost significant amounts of money nearly overnight as a result of monies invested in mortgage-backed funds that collapsed in the subprime lending crisis. Lawsuits against Regions Morgan Keegan allege the funds were represented to investors as low-risk preferred stocks and corporate bonds, when in fact ... Read More

EEOC violated FLSA rules for years

Talk about irony. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – an advocate of workplace fairness – has been willfully violating the Fair Labor Standards Act for several years, according to a report in the Washington Post. An arbitrator has decided that the EEOC unfairly and illegally gave compensatory time off instead of overtime pay to its employees throughout the country. The arbitrator said this system amounted to “forced volunteering.” In his decision, the arbitrator said that the case “demonstrates action that went beyond mere negligence.” “This overtime ruling against the EEOC is vindication that the ‘model employer’ should not be ... Read More

Will the great recession mean more FLSA lawsuits?

An attorney representing a healthcare worker who is suing his employer for denied overtime says that lawsuits filed under the Fair Labor Standards Act may become more common during the economic recession. The plaintiff alleges that his employer, Delta-T Group and Delta-T Group Social Service Staffing, Inc. denied him overtime compensation by wrongly classifying him as an independent contractor. Because he is not appropriately classified as an employee of the company, the plaintiff cannot receive the same benefits that regular employees of the company received. “As corporate budgets continue to tighten, more employers are looking to classify workers as independent ... Read More

class action filed against Alabama company for FLSA overtime violations

A lawsuit filed by employees against Buffalo Rock Co. of Birmingham, Alabama has been certified as a class action lawsuit, according to a report in the Birmingham News. Workers filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for Birmingham in 2007, alleging the company’s failure to compensate some of its sales and delivery employees for overtime work. Buffalo Rock is one of the country’s largest privately owned Pepsi-Cola bottlers with 14 distribution centers in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. Its distribution area covers a population of 6.5 million. Employees represented by the suit contend that Buffalo Rock violated the Fair Labor ... Read More

Missouri restaurant pays back wages and penalties for FLSA violations

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has cited a Missouri restaurant with numerous violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to a report in the Bolivar Herald-Free Press. Smith’s restaurant in Bolivar will pay more than $36,000 in fines and back wages stemming from its violations of the FLSA’s overtime, minimum wage, and child labor regulations. $34,625 of the money recovered by the Wage and Hour Division will compensate 54 employees for back wages. Investigators found the restaurant had violated minimum wage laws by skimming money from the servers’ hourly pay to compensate bus staff. The ... Read More

Denying disability may be just one of Unum’s profitability tricks

Barron’s ran an article this month that claimed the disability insurer Unum “may be casting its numbers in an overly rosy light” in an effort to appear profitable and attract investors. The article, which can be read here, casts doubt about Unum’s reported health: “To hear company officials tell it, Unum Group is emphatically on the mend, this after the disability insurer was wracked by scandal and losses earlier in the decade.” Lawsuits against the insurance giant began almost immediately after its merger in 1999. Unum (formerly named UnumProvident) was formed by the merger of Portland, Maine’s Unum and Chattanooga, ... Read More

Card dealers win labor case against Palm Beach club

A group of poker dealers in Palm Beach, Florida won a lawsuit in federal court this week filed against the Palm Beach Kennel Club Entertainment Complex for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The workers alleged that managers of the club skimmed money off their tips to pay supervisors working the card room floor. According to the Palm Beach Post, the club failed to prove to the jury that it operated a legal tip pool under the FLSA regulations. According to the Palm Beach Post, the plaintiffs alleged that the club “operated an illegal tip pool knowingly” and with ... Read More

FLSA compliance creates difficulties for Annapolis school secretaries

The Capital, a newspaper serving the Annapolis, Maryland area, recently ran an interesting article explaining how the Annapolis County school board has been violating the Fair Labor Standards Act for 30 years because it averaged pay for school secretaries rather than pay them specific hourly wages. The violation was discovered last year when school officials installed a new payroll system. According to the FLSA, workers such as the school secretaries must be paid for the number of hours they work each week. Because some secretaries work fewer hours in the summer months, the county averaged their pay so that they ... Read More

McCarver gets $100,000 in RMK claim

Noted baseball announcer Tim McCarver, who entered an arbitration case against Morgan Keegan & Co. in November 2008 claiming $1.6 million in losses has received $100,000 in compensatory damages, The Memphis Daily News reports. The Memphis native best known for his Major League career with the St. Louis Cardinals wanted to work with his hometown brokerage firm when he selected Morgan Keegan – based in Memphis and owned as a subsidiary of Birmingham, Ala. based Regions Financial Corp. – for his investments, the News says. However, his funds were placed in high-risk funds, resulting in unusually fast and severe losses. ... Read More

Native Americans face discrimination applying for disability

Columnist Tim Giago, an Oglala Lakota and founder of three newspapers, recently wrote a heartbreaking piece about Andy Torres, a fellow Sioux who had served his country faithfully for many years, only to have his country turn its back on him when he became injured and needed help. I read Giago’s column about Torres in the Native American Times. First, some background. Torres, obviously, is a Native American. As a Sioux Indian, he is a member of a people whose land and culture, so rich with ancient wisdom and vibrant traditions, has been trampled over by generations of new Americans. ... Read More