News Release

Vermont contractor pays nearly $44K in punitive damages, lost wages to former employee fired for exercising rights under federal wage law

Fair Labor Standards Act prohibits retaliation against employees

Employer name:                               Kingsbury Companies LLC

Investigation site:                 58 Center Road, Middlesex, VT 05602 

Investigative findings:          The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found that the employer, a construction contractor, terminated an employee in March 2023, in retaliation for speaking with the employer and other employees about whether they were receiving the correct pay. In an administrative settlement with the division, Kingsbury Companies LLC has paid the worker $40,000 in punitive damages and $3,901 in back pay for the period during which the employee was looking for a new job after the retaliatory discharge.

Quote:                                     “The Wage and Hour Division will not tolerate employers retaliating against workers who exercise their federally protected rights. The Fair Labor Standards Act forbids employers from taking adverse action against employees for engaging in protected activities such as inquiring about their pay rates, asserting their worker rights, filing a complaint or cooperating with a U.S. Department of Labor investigation. This case sends a message to employers that any form of threat or retaliation against workers for asserting their rights can have steep consequences,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Steven J. McKinney in Manchester, New Hampshire. 

Background:                          Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division and how it protects workers against retaliation. The department can speak with callers confidentially in more than 200 languages through the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Download the agency’s new Timesheet App for i-OS and Android devices – also available in Spanish – to ensure hours and pay are accurate.

Wage and Hour Division
October 24, 2023
Release Number
Media Contact: James C. Lally
Phone Number
Media Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
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