Event busi­ness to pay $200,000

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Kirk Mitchell

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.

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