Ministry of Labor orders Asmussen to pay $ 563,800 in back wages and penalties

NEW YORK – A federal court on Monday ordered coach Steve Asmussen to pay a total of $ 563,800 in back wages and penalties for payroll violations, including non-payment of overtime to stable workers and keeping proper records.

The judgment also includes $ 46,200 in civil penalties for the willfulness of the violations.

This echoes a similar case in 2019 in which coach Chad Brown was ordered to pay more than $ 1.6 million in back wages and penalties.

According to a statement from the US Department of Labor, an investigation by the department’s wages and hours division “revealed that KDE Equine LLC (doing business as Asmussen Racing Stables) and Arlington-based owner Steve Asmussen , TX, underpaid 170 employees who performed important and safety-affecting work at its Belmont and Saratoga Springs stables and adjacent racetracks.

The investigation determined that Asmussen “willfully violated overtime and record keeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act when it failed to pay appropriate overtime compensation to employees who did not. worked more than 40 hours per working week, hid the hours worked by employees, ordered employees to sign incomplete. or false timesheets and failed to calculate the correct overtime compensation owed to employees.

In addition to wage compensation and financial penalties, the court also ordered Asmussen to keep accurate records, adopt an electronic timing system at its New York offices, train supervisors in New York on the requirements of the FLSA and to provide employees with information about their rights at FLSA.

“The US Department of Labor will pursue all legal avenues necessary to secure appropriate compensation for employees and deter future violations by employers,” Jeffrey Rogoff, New York regional labor attorney, said in the statement. “This regulation compensates both for these underpaid workers and includes improved training and timing requirements to change this employer’s behavior and prevent future violations.”

The total wage arrears owed to the 170 workers was $ 281,900, and an equal amount of damages was added, bringing the total to $ 563,800.
“Employers who hurt their employees don’t just hurt their employees; they also undermine their law-abiding competitors, ”said David An, district manager of the wages and hours division. “Such violations are preventable if employers and workers know and understand their respective responsibilities and rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act. “

The news follows an eventful meeting in Saratoga for Asmussen, who was inducted into the National Racing Hall of Fame in 2016.

He broke the all-time career winning record in North America and won the last three Class I races of the Labor Day weekend competition, the Jockey Club Gold Cup, Spinaway and Hopeful.

Besides Asmussen and Brown, other trainers Kiaran McLaughlin, Gary Contessa and George Weaver have been audited for their work practices in recent years, and Linda Rice and Jimmy Jerkens have made deals with the Department of Labor.

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