Ex-Promotions Unlimited employees go to court seeking wages

Lawsuit seeks class action certification

Three former employees at Mt. Pleasant-based Promotions Unlimited are alleging the company and its executives violated federal law and failed to pay employees wages for the final weeks at the company.

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Promotions Unlimited, which provided community-based retailers with products, advertising and merchandising solutions, shut down Jan. 27, putting 77 employees out of work. At the time, the company said it was unable to secure financing from its lender to continue operations.

Union officials also said at the time the company’s payroll processor had removed direct deposited paychecks from the accounts of some employees.

Former employees Jean Smith, Emily Metz and Marsha Peterson are now launching a class action lawsuit against Roosevelt Capital LLC, which did business as Promotions Unlimited, Ira and Lorraine Greenberg, company owners and managing members, Ellen Phelps, a company vice president, and Debbie Scott, the company’s treasurer.

Forty-nine other employees have also signed on as potential plaintiffs in the case.

Their lawsuit alleges they weren’t paid minimum wages for the last two-week pay period, which ran from Jan. 8 to Jan. 21, they weren’t paid for their last week of employment and also were not paid for accrued holiday and vacation pay.

The complaint also alleges the defendants directed Paylocity to claw back wages from employees and even if they did not direct those actions at least “aided and abetted” in the taking of wages.

The lawsuit seeks class action certification along with an order for unpaid wages, civil penalties and punitive damages.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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