June 11, 2008
Maine Attorney General Steve Rowe and Maine Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman announced today the filing of an Offer of Judgment made by Richardson Hollow, where the company agreed to pay $190,193.72 in back wages and vacation pay.
The judgment covers 126 former employees of Richardson Hollow who were not paid when the business closed in September 2007. The Office of Attorney General filed a complaint for back wages against the company in Androscoggin County Superior Court in October of 2007.
In announcing the judgment, Attorney General Steve Rowe stated, “It is unfortunate that the State had to file a lawsuit to get these workers the pay they were due. It would have been far better had Richardson Hollow actually paid its workers in the first place.”
In an effort to get workers paid as quickly as possible, the Maine Department of Labor will immediately begin processing checks for the final week’s wages through the Maine Wage Assurance Fund. Workers were mailed paperwork yesterday to receive payment and were encouraged to return the forms quickly. Checks will then be issued by the state. The State will seek reimbursement by Richardson Hollow for all moneys paid out of the Wage Assurance Fund.
“It is unacceptable that workers have had to wait so long for the wages they earned,” said Maine Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman. “In a time of increased food and fuel costs, the loss of income has been a hardship for them and their families.”
Under Maine State Law, the Wage Assurance Fund can only cover wages owed, not vacation pay or reimbursements owed by the former employer. The State will work to ensure that any proceeds from the sale of Richardson Hollow’s assets are used to cover vacation pay owed to former employees and to reimburse the Wage Assurance Fund.