Ken Bennett's Family Business Accused by Ex-Employee of Wage Violations

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bennettoil.com
An oil company owned by the family of Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett is being sued for alleged wage violations and retaliation against a former employee.

Bennett's Oil Company -- of which the Secretary of State is the former CEO and a current director -- is being accused by a former cashier of failing to pay overtime wages, withholding wages, then reducing his hours after he complained about it to the point that he had to call it quits.

In the lawsuit, Kenneth McKinnie says he worked for the Prescott-based oil-distribution company as a full-time employee for more than a year, starting in December 2010.

McKinnie says he was paid by the hour -- between $7.50 and $7.75 -- and didn't get paid a penny more than that, although he claims he worked approximately 51 hours per week over his 16 months with the company.

McKinnie's lawsuit contends the Fair Labor Standards Act applies here, and says he deserved time-and-a-half on several occasions -- like the time McKinnie says he worked 133.30 in a two-week stretch.

According to the lawsuit, McKinnie complained to his supervisor about not receiving the overtime pay, and the lawsuit says his hours were cut to as low as 12 hours per pay period -- although the length of the pay period isn't defined.

McKinnie claims he was forced to resign at the end of March since his hours were slashed, which he believes was a result of complaining about not receiving overtime pay.

McKinnie's seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

Several of the company's employees, and members of the Bennett family, including the Secretary of State, are named as defendants in the lawsuit.

Secretary of State Bennett's biography lists him as the company's CEO from 1985 to 2006 -- well before McKinnie was hired. He's still on the board of directors, according to his bio.

When asked to comment on the claims, Bennett's Oil Company president Lenora Nelson told New Times in an e-mail that the company has not been served with the lawsuit.



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22 comments
elnelsonhombre
elnelsonhombre

This really disgusts me.  It makes me sick that this is the thanks Kenny gave to those who helped him out so much.  There is a lot this article is missing.  It's amazing to see what people will do to their own family for money.

fairymagic13
fairymagic13

This is the first time in history that there is no protestant on the ballot for the REpublicants!  Let's see, Protestants on the Dem ticket, a mormon and a catholic on the republicant ticket.  Hmmm.  Will the protestants in the US vote against one of their own and for non-believers in the protestant storytelling.

fairymagic13
fairymagic13

So that will be a lawsuit filed on behalf of the employee by the Department of Labor right!  When they do that, they go through the payroll records of all the other employees of the company back about ten years.  Usually where there's one abuse of a "corporate asset" (we call them people) there are more.  I suspect there will be a settlement in the range of 2 million to the Department of Labor on behalf of this employee and all the other employees which got / are getting the shaft by Bennett. 

 

Look for a settlement soon in the 2 to 3 million dollar range - the business liability insurance company for Bennett Oil will be doing the paying of the duckets for the attorney and the settlement - no skin off Bennett Oil's nose.  Just more examples of the wealthy elite conducting a war on the poor and middle class.

 

Cozz
Cozz

Typical politician, fuck everyone they can.

QstionEvythng
QstionEvythng

So, even if the overtime allegations are unfounded, Bennett's company pays its employees $16,120 a year (@$7.75/hour).  Even in Prescott I wouldn't call that anything close to a living wage.  Wonder if they offer any benefits like health or dental.  Even if the company does offer beneftis, I doubt that an employee could afford the employee's share of the premiums on that type of wage.  Interesting.

robert_graham
robert_graham

 @fairymagic13 It wouldn't surprise me if the whining employee is a Democrat just looking for a quick payout.  Happens all the time.

RetPrescottEmployee
RetPrescottEmployee

 @LegitQuestions

 Many, many, years ago, Mr. Bennett was on the Prescott city council.  It was during a time when city employee wages and benefits were crap, and there was discussion of making things a bit better for us.  Mr. Bennett made a statement during that council meeting to the effect of "I pay my employees minimum wage, why should city workers get any more than that".  I guess some things NEVER change.  This guy wants to run for governor, and strongly believes in this day and age that both his workers AND government workers should be making no more than minimum wage.  But I guess I shouldn't criticize him or he'll probably start digging into my birth records and such!

fairymagic13
fairymagic13

 @JoeArpaioFan Joe Arpaio was a Democrat, when Jim Crow laws existed and before the boll weavil dems all died off or moved to the republicant party.

QstionEvythng
QstionEvythng

 @JoeArpaioFan

 Actually, it sounds like he's a hard working guy, just trying to feed his family and asing to be paid what he is entitled to receive under the law. 

 

See, the law says that when a worker works more than 40 hours in a week then the worker is entitled to overtime pay.  Not paying overtime to an employee who has worked more than 40 hours in a week is illegal.  Remember, illegal is illegal and the company doesn't get to break the laws of this country any time it wants to. 

 

I don't know anything more about this case than what I've read in this article, but assuming that he's a republican, democrat or party undeclared is not something I can infer from the information pressented.

DPSnAZ
DPSnAZ

 @JoeArpaioFan Your login characterizes you fairly adequate, JAF, but seriously, is that all you have ?!

TruConserv
TruConserv

 @RetPrescottEmployee Guys like Bennett would return us to the days of child labor, and very well might the way things are going.

 

Then, Bennett's sick-fuck son would shove sticks up the asses of the underage kids ... (I'm not kidding, google it.)

ptcgaz
ptcgaz

 @teknik exactly. A "right to work" state that gives you no right to work for fair pay is more like it.

ptcgaz
ptcgaz

 @Bnbk that is correct, but in AZ you can work at a unionized "shop" and you don't have to join the union that fights hard for your wages, since AZ is a right-wing "right" to work state.

Bnbk
Bnbk

 @ptcgaz  @RetPrescottEmployee  @LegitQuestions

 The business communities,both big and medium sized,will learn this once we,the consumer start to reduce our purchases of their products........The situation Mr.McKinnie found himself in would not had happenned if the workers at Bennett's oil company were Unionized......There are many unions out there willing to give information and help to anyone wanting to become unionized. All workers in these types of situations owe it to themselves to at least get informed about their rights as workers.....Anyone can contact any union to receive information......EVERY worker should strive to have the protection and the benefits that the Unions offer.

ptcgaz
ptcgaz

 @marcy really. the free market is such a bullshit concept. if that were the case advertisers would go bankrupt, and so would things like NASCAR.. etc etc etc..

marcy
marcy

 @ptcgaz  @teknik You have the right to work, you don't have the right to get paid more than the free market determines you are worth.

 

Sounds fair to me.

 

Probably doesn't sound fair to you because you think people with few marketable skills should be earning $25/hr.

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