The Minnesota Department of Labor has filed suit against a Roseville trucking company that they say pretended to go out of business in order to avoid paying back wages to union workers.
The lawsuit comes after Lakeville Motor Express abruptly closed its doors just before Thanksgiving, leaving 95 workers unexpectedly unemployed.
The laid off workers’ union representatives accused Lakeville Motor Express of simply moving to Maple Grove and changing the company’s name to Finish Line Express (or FLE) in order to avoid paying their employees. Teamsters say that FLE was staffed by Lakeville Motor Express’s non-union employees.
FLE denied the union’s allegations.
The DOL lawsuit against Lakeville Motor Express says that the company “attempted to dissipate its assets fraudulently to avoid paying employee wages.”
The suit seeks $524,000 in back wages and penalties.
Bill Wedebrand, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 120, remarked, “These executives robbed 95 hardworking, middle class families of wages they had earned. We are pleased to see that the state has taken the next step toward holding these companies accountable.”