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Georgia company's contract dispute shadowed by criminal charges

A dispute that seems to just get more heated has erupted between a Georgia contracting company and an out-of-state city. The company is accused of violating the state's wage laws in connection with its demolition of three schools devastated by a 2011 tornado. The charges by state officials also allege the contracting company forged documents to cover up the mis-payments. The charges come months after the contractor launched a federal breach of contract dispute over the job. That case is still pending

The breach of contract lawsuit accuses the state of hosting an inhospitable work environment due to racial issues. The minority-owned company's suit also accuses a school official of using intimidation tactics with violent threats and profanity to create a difficult work environment.

The president of the Georgia company claims the criminal charges are an attempt by the state to deflect attention away from the federal case. He says that any issues with pay that may have occurred were the result of errors by a third-party contractor who was supposed to deal with pay compliance issues. The company president also says efforts are ongoing to try to work through any alleged discrepancies with officials related to the accusations leveled against it.

When a contract dispute occurs, it can be a source of stress for business owners. Not only is this Georgia company facing accusations of wrongdoing, it is also embroiled in a breach of contract lawsuit against the state. Although many lawsuits like this are settled out of court, others may end up going to trial. Regardless of how the lawsuit progresses, it is always best to secure knowledgeable help in order to navigate the legal complexities.

Source: The Joplin Globe, "Georgia company president 'stunned' at criminal charges," Wally Kennedy, Dec. 19, 2012

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