"I'm going to fire all the motherf---ers!"
That's the threat Department of Labor accused Tamesha Porter, the sole owner and operator of Safe Haven Assisted Living of Haslett, of making to her employees after the Department of Labor started investigating its wage and hour practices.
The investigation started with allegations by employees that the company had failed to properly pay employees for working through their lunch breaks. The lawsuit, however, as explained by the DOL, focused solely on the retaliation allegations.
Porter responded to the agency's review of 18 months of the firm's pay practices by regularly making threats of termination and attempting to identify employees whom she suspected had cooperated with the investigation. The division also alleges Porter acted with hostility toward workers, ignored them, and refused to speak to them. Her retaliatory responses to the investigation led several employees to resign. Allegedly, Porter later contacted a prospective employer of one such employee and claimed that the employee had engaged in misconduct at Safe Haven.
In speaking about the lawsuit, DOL Wage and Hour District Director Mary O'Rourke said, "Workers dedicated to providing essential care and helping people in need faced threats and intimidation in what became a hostile — and for some, an unbearable — workplace." Added DOL Regional Solicitor of Labor Christine Heri, "When employers like this believe they can use threats and intimidation to derail a Department of Labor investigation, they will learn that we will take all necessary actions — including litigation — to hold them accountable."