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IN THE NEWS: Rep. Braun’s business plagued by lawsuits and violations, citing poor worker treatment

INDIANAPOLIS – Rep. Braun has staked his Senate campaign on his record of building and running his business, but according to a report in the Journal Gazette today, it turns out that his businesses displayed a pattern of poor worker treatment. Former Meyer Distributing and Meyer Logistics employees claim to have been treated badly during their time at Rep. Braun’s companies, painting a grim picture of a corporation that has faced multiple lawsuits for failing to pay the minimum wage or overtime. The company also paid nearly $40,000 in back wages after being cited for more than two dozen labor violations from the Department of Labor, the report also reveals.

From the Journal GazetteBraun companies faced suits, discipline on pay

Mike Braun routinely touts his business management experience in his campaign for the Republican nomination for a U.S. Senate seat from Indiana.

“I’ve lived my conservatism in the trenches, not through the lens of politicians…”

The trenches apparently have been inhabited by some people unhappy with Braun’s businesses.

A lawsuit filed last year in California claims that one of Braun’s companies, Meyer Logistics Inc., has underpaid and overworked its truck drivers in that state. Tomas Alcala, a former driver for Meyer Logistics, contends in his complaint that the company violated laws by conducting background checks on prospective employees without their consent, failing to provide required meal and rest periods to drivers, failing to pay minimum wages and overtime, and failing to reimburse employees for required expenses.

The suit claims Meyer Logistics “consistently required” drivers to work “without paying them for all the time they were” working. The suit, which sought class-action status, was filed in September in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Jasper-based Meyer Logistics has an operation in Ontario, California.

A related company, auto parts distributor Meyer Distributing Inc., in 2010 settled a lawsuit filed by a fired delivery driver in Oklahoma who claimed he was owed unpaid overtime wages. The former driver had sought $75,000 in actual damages and $10,000 in punitive damages.

Meyer Distributing also agreed to pay $39,402 in back wages at its Jasper headquarters after the U.S. Department of Labor found 26 violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act related to unpaid overtime from December 2008 through December 2010.

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