Attorney General Fights Company That Failed To Pay Employees - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Attorney General Fights Company That Failed To Pay Employees

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The office of the Michigan attorney general has filed a lawsuit against a Lansing-based production company for failing to pay thousands of dollars in employee wages.

According to court documents, two employees who worked for Life In Lansing filed complaints with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), claiming that the company owed them close to $7,000 in back wages. LARA then launched an investigation, and issued a final order stating that Life In Lansing is liable for those fees, plus interest.

Officials with the attorney general's office say because the company's owner, Marc Francoeur, never responded to LARA's order to repay the back wages, their office filed a lawsuit on behalf of the former employees.

One of the plaintiffs named in the case is a former sales executive for Life In Lansing. He says on several occasions he was given checks that bounced, and for the last month-and-a-half of his employment, he received no pay. "[Marc Francoeur] just continues to do this to people, one after another," says Tim Florinki. "And I don't know when somebody's going to stop him."

Joy Yearout, spokeswoman for Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, says if Francoeur does not respond, he does risk a judgment being entered against him. Yearout says anyone experiencing problems not getting paid should file a complaint with the Wage and Hour division of the Michigan Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Last week, several former employees of Life In Lansing came forward to Six News about not getting paid during their time at the company. They said attempts to collect back pay from the owner were futile. "It came down to promises. Promises and more promises," said one former employee in an interview last Thursday. "[They'd say] we didn't get paid by our clients this week, so we're waiting on that check, we're waiting on some things in the mail." Those ex-workers who spoke last week asked not to be identified, but said they also received checks that bounced, and sometimes received no paychecks at all.

Employees weren't the only ones who didn't get paid. Clients of the company, some who served as hosts for local television shows that Life in Lansing produced, also came forward to say they had not been paid. Cheryl Fritze hosted a show called "Talk of the Town," but says she never received payment for her services, even though the company was still promoting the show on its website. Fritze says she eventually got an attorney to issue a cease and desist letter as it related to the show she appeared on.

Francoeur also has other lawsuits against him from clients who say he and his company owe them money. Court records show he has a jury trial scheduled this fall.

Calls and emails made on Monday to the company's owner were not returned. He did speak to WLNS on Thursday, but asked for his comments to be kept off-the-record.

Emerald Morrow is a reporter with WLNS-TV. Like her on Facebook, Follow her on Twitter or email her at emorrow@wlns.com.

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WLNS disclosure: Life In Lansing has worked with WLNS in the past and Life in Lansing owes thousands in unpaid fees

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