For immediate release:
September 15, 2021
David Pearl 202-483-7382
Albany, NY – The US Department of Labor just settled its third lawsuit with Steve Asmussen after a purebred instructor was unable to pay 170 employees in New York for overtime work – but PETA says experience shows that fines are unlikely to prevent Asmussen from continuing deceive workers and break the law. Fair Labor Standards Act. The group today sent a letter to Barry Sample, chairman of the New York State Gaming Commission, urging to revoke Asmussen’s teaching license.
“For Asmussen, fines for cheating people and fines for doping horses are just the cost of doing business,” says PETA Senior Vice President Cathy Guillermo. “Stealing wages and encouraging employees to get fake Social Security cards is serious business, and PETA is urging the gaming commission to revoke Asmusen’s license before he can race again with people or horses.”
The second lawsuit stemmed from an undercover PETA investigation that revealed Asmussen’s assistant trainer Scott Blazi ordered undocumented workers to obtain fake IDs and Social Security cards or quit, demanded many hours of workers for a small fee, and forced undocumented workers to sleep in barns. and gallery rooms. The investigation also revealed the regular use of medication for horses to get them to run faster. The Commission fined Asmussen $ 10,000 for drug abuse.
PETA, whose motto is in part that “the animals are not ours to be used for entertainment” – opposes arrogance, a worldview focused on human superiority. For more information please visit PETA.org or subscribe to the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram…
This is followed by a letter from PETA to Sample.
September 15, 2021
Barry Sample, Chair
New York State Gambling Commission Board
Dear Mr. Sample:
I am writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and our more than 9 million members and supporters around the world, requesting the immediate revocation of Steve Asmassen’s New York State training license. Asmussen Racing Stable recently agreed to settle with the US Department of Labor (DOL) alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act due to non-payment of overtime. 170 employeesincluding grooms, riders, and pedestrians on New York State highways between 2016 and 2020.
According to the proposed settlement documents, stable owner Asmussen must pay $ 600,000 in unpaid wages and fines. it third a lawsuit brought by the Department of Labor against this purebred trainer since 2013.
A 2013 PETA investigation found that, among other abuses, he did not pay workers fair wages in New York. Our investigation found that Asmussen and assistant coach Scott Blazi ordered undocumented workers to obtain fake IDs and social security cards or quit, required workers to work long hours without paying overtime, and forced undocumented workers to sleep in barns and warehouses. The Labor Department filed a lawsuit and Asmussen settled and paid fines and wage arrears. In 2013, the New York City Department of Labor sued him for underpaid workers, some of whom worked 60 hours a week.
Asmussen may be the most successful purebred trainer in history, but he achieved it thanks to exploited employees. Heavy fines did not prevent his illegal behavior, because they are just a drop in the bucket compared to his earnings. Obviously, he dismisses them as ordinary costs of doing business. Repeated violations and ignorance of laws cannot be tolerated, and coaches who rob their employees must not be allowed to race in New York.
We strongly recommend that you revoke your Asmussen training license to protect Asmussen Racing Stable employees in New York State.
Thanks for your time and attention. We look forward to hearing from you.
Senior vice president