DWD sues SEMCO for unpaid wages, benefits totaling over $680,000
For the Tomahawk Leader
MERRILL – Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul and Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek on Monday, Feb. 8 announced a lawsuit against Semling-Menke Company, Inc. (SEMCO), alleging that the company failed to provide required notice to employees before ceasing its business operations in Merrill in Dec. 2019.
“DWD concluded that 140 employees were due wages totaling $682,864.90,” the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a release. “The legal action seeks to recover wages by enforcing a lien against all property owned by the company.”
The complaint states that SEMCO on Dec. 30, 2019, for the first time, gave notice to all its employees that it was ceasing operations, and that all employees were terminated, effective Dec. 31, 2019.
“As this action constituted a ‘business closing,’ it falls under Wis. Stat. § 109.07(1m), which states that an employer must give affected employees 60 days’ notice of a business closing,” DOJ said.
“Enforcing our labor laws protects working families,” Kaul stated. “This case alleges that 140 people didn’t receive the required 60 days’ notice when SEMCO abruptly closed, and Wisconsin DOJ is working to get justice for these Wisconsinites.”
“DWD recognizes the significant burden placed on workers and their families when an employer fails to give employees proper notice of a business closing,” DWD Secretary-designee Pechacek said. “DWD believes in enforcing the law and is pleased to move forward in holding SEMCO accountable to its workers.”