Event business to pay $200,000
A wedding and special events’ planning business has agreed to pay a $200,000 settlement to five employees living in the country illegally after allegedly failing to pay them minimum wages and overtime and discriminating against them because of their race.
U.S. District Magistrate Judge Craig Shaffer approved the deal between defendant Wright Group Events Services of Denver and plaintiffs Maria Del Carmen Contreras, Joaquin Espinoza Bailon, Alfonso Madera and Gerardo Castaneda Cisneros, all of Mexico, and Rosa Botello Hernandez, of Guatemala.
As part of the settlement the Wright Group did not admit wrongdoing. In a response to the original complaint, the defendants also denied allegations made in the lawsuit.
The five plaintiffs will receive $118,500 of the settlement and their attorneys, Arash Jahanian, Laura Wolf and Qusair Mohamedbhai, will receive the remaining $81,500.
The federal lawsuit filed July 7 in U.S. District Court in Denver claimed that in some cases the company that set up tents for weddings and special events would clock its Mexican employees out before the end of their shifts as they continued working. Caucasian employees were paid higher wages, the lawsuit says.
The original complaint said the defendants worked up to 100 hours a week, but were not paid overtime.