Schumacher suit settled; $31,575 paid
A 43-page federal class action lawsuit filed 18 months ago against Walt and Carolyn Schumacher of Clinton and four companies they owned has been settled with the defendants agreeing to pay $31,574.60. The total consists of $16,147.01 in unpaid wages to foreign individuals who were recruited and worked in Schumacher companies, as well as $15,427.59 in civil penalties.
Walt Schumacher said the unpaid wages represent overtime that was “honestly missed.” He added, “We paid $81,000 in overtime that year at Montana Mike’s, and we honestly missed a couple.” (Montana Mike’s is a restaurant formerly owned by one of the companies named in the suit, but the Schumachers sold the restaurant some years ago.)
The $16,000-plus in back wages was apparently divided among 27 workers, not just three Filipinos on whose behalf the suit was originally brought. As a class-action proceeding, other complainants could be added as the case progressed.
Schumacher this week provided the Clinton Daily News a copy of a notice to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. It was accompanied by a “consent order” signed by himself and one of his attorneys and by Courtney Wilson, trial attorney for the United States Department of Labor.
“This consent order shall constitute the final admini-strative order in this case,” it states. It also says each party will pay its own expenses incurred in bringing or defending the suit “including but not limited to attorney’s fees.”
The lawsuit was filed in July of 2017 by the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma and two other agencies on behalf of Madelyn Casilao, Harry Lincuna and Allan Garcia, who were recruited from the Philippines in 2012 to work at the Schumacher companies. Casilao was employed at the Holiday Inn Express, Lincuna there and at the Water-Zoo, and Garcia at Montana Mike’s. Those businesses were owned respectfully at the time by Hotelmacher, LLC; Schumacher Investments, LLC; and Steakmacher, LLC. Also named in the suit was APEX USA, Inc.
Attorneys filing the suit alleged that the three Filipinos, as well as other foreigners, were recruited under false pretenses and even used the term “human trafficking.” The settlement document did not address those issues. Instead, it said, “This Consent Order constitutes a full and final resolution of the alleged allegations and the back wages and civil penalties sought in these proceedings by the Administrator” (of the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor).
It says the division conducted investigations covering the period from March 1, 2012, through Dec. 31, 2012. Among language the consent order contains is the following:
“The total amount of $31,574.60 from Respondents resolves all claims asserted in these proceedings,” and “This consent order shall constitute the final administrative order in this case.”