False information given to Department of Labor

Several weeks after being terminated, neither Gwen nor I had received our final paychecks (or, in fact, the ones before that), so we each filed a claim with the Montana State Department of Labor and Industry.

Gwen finally received her February and March pay in October 2017. Gary still has not received his.

False Claim #1

In a letter to the Dept of Labor on 22 April 2017, Precious McKenzie stated, “Mr. Robson is not owed PTO or vacation/PTO as he was terminated with cause.”

Precious was on the cc list for all of the emails involved, and knew that I was not terminated for cause. [See details here]

False Claim #2

Precious also claimed in a letter to the Dept of Labor that she had no knowledge that I was ever promised paid time off (“PTO”). As a board member, she had a copy of my offer letter, which included this paragraph:

PTO paragraph from Gary Robson offer letter 4-28-16

She was also copied on this email from Carrie the day after I was terminated:

From: Carrie La Seur <claseur@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: Hours worked and PTO accumulated
Date: March 15, 2017 at 7:04:03 AM MDT
To: Gary Robson <gary@robson.org>
Cc: Precious McKenzie <preciousmmckenzie@gmail.com>, Nina Hernandez <hernandez.nina@gmail.com>

We will honor PTO claimed from months in which we have a record of hours worked. That leaves 10.67 hours.

False Claim #3

In response to Gwen’s claim with the Dept of Labor, Precious wrote a letter stating that I had issued a paycheck to Gwen before she actually started working for the co-op. Precious attempted to deduct the amount of this fictitious check from Gwen’s back pay.

The amount of the check (and the check number) matched with my regular paycheck from that period. There was no check written to Gwen that month.

When Gwen demanded to see a copy of the check supposedly written to her, Precious recanted and said that it must have been a data entry error in QuickBooks.

False Claim #4

In a conference call regarding my hearing with the Dept of Labor in October 2017, I requested archives of the Gmail account (BillingsBookstore@Gmail.com) that I used for co-op business before we registered the domain ThisHouseOfBooks.com. Precious told the hearing officer that the co-op didn’t have access to that account.

I gave the board that password on March 14. Here is the beginning of that email. Note that Precious is cc’ed.

From: Gary Robson <gary@robson.org>
Date: Tue, Mar 14, 2017 at 10:10 AM
Subject: More Accounts
To: Carrie La Seur <claseur@gmail.com>
Cc: Precious McKenzie <preciousmmckenzie@gmail.com>, Nina Hernandez <hernandez.nina@gmail.com>

Here are some more accounts that I didn’t think of yesterday. Obviously, you’ll want to change the passwords right away:

GOOGLE (including gmail, Google docs, Chrome, YouTube…)
BillingsBookstore@gmail.com
[password redacted]

The account is still active, and when I try to log in using the password redacted from the above email, Google says that it was changed about 8 months ago.

False Claim #5

In that same conference call, the hearing officer informed Precious that under state law, corporations had to be represented by an attorney. Precious insisted that the co-op is not a corporation.

She was absolutely aware that the co-op is a corporation, because her signature appears on the co-op’s Statement of Intent to Incorporate a Cooperative Association. Also, the standard trade information sheet the co-op hands out to potential vendors and trade partners says, “Incorporated as a member-owned Montana retail co-operative under
Title 35, Chapter 15 of the Montana Code.” That sheet was emailed to the board on July 12, 2016.

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