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MADISON - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and Department of Workforce Development Secretary Roberta Gassman today announced recovery of over $123,000 in compensation that Sagence, Inc., employees lost when the Milwaukee firm closed earlier this year.
"It is clear in Wisconsin that laws protecting the rights of workers to compensation must be followed," Van Hollen said. "The Wisconsin Department of Justice represents the Department of Workforce Development in enforcing the law when violations unfortunately occur."
Twenty-seven former employees will share in $65,138.48, the first payment of an agreement the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) reached with Sagence and its primary lender, Silicon Valley Bank. In addition, 23 former employees who were not officers will share in a second payment of $58,218.49.
"In each of the last two years, DWD succeeded in collecting well over $2 million on behalf of thousands of workers and their families," Secretary Gassman said. "This is another example of our strong, effective enforcement of state laws protecting workers, a collaborative effort with the Department of Justice."
Sagence closed its doors on May 29. The company had a sale of its assets pending. Silicon Valley Bank, the primary lender and also the purchaser, wanted to address any potential wage claim liens as promptly as possible. In representing DWD, the Department of Justice had filed a wage lien.
Under the state's Wage Payments, Claims and Collections laws, eligible workers are entitled to payment of up to $3,000 in unpaid wages before most other creditors may be paid. In this case, the 23 former workers who were not officers will receive either the full amount claimed, or $3,000, whichever is lesser.
The payments were agreed to between the state, Sagence, Inc. and Silicon Valley Bank.