Following a PETA investigation in which Steve Asmussen was exposed for exploiting workers, among other abuses, the infamous horse trainer settled another federal wage theft lawsuit.
According to the proposed settlement documents, Asmussen agreed to pay $ 600,000 in unpaid wages and fines for violations between 2016 and 2020 following a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) lawsuit over alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The federal lawsuit alleges Asmussen failed to pay overtime for 170 employees, including grooms and walkers, on New York State highways. As documented in PETA, Asmussen makes money. on the backs of bruised horses and exploited employees…
In 2013, a PETA investigator documented that Asmussen drugged sick, injured horses to mask the pain and make them run faster, but we didn’t just catch a trainer exploiting the horses.… The same investigation revealed that Asmussen subjected his employees to harsh working conditions, including hard work, long hours for little pay, and the frequent need to sleep in sheds and storage rooms. Asmussen and assistant Scott Blasi also demanded that undocumented workers receive fake IDs and social security cards so that they could be hired.
it third a lawsuit filed by the Department of Labor against Asmussen, which is not a shock given how widespread labor violations are in the horse training industry. In 2020, Coach George Weaver paid $ 425,000 to DOL after an agency said he had failed to pay employees required hourly wages and overtime. And in 2019, coach Chad Brown paid $ 1,617,673 for violations, including non-payment of promised wages and misrepresentation of working conditions.
Part of PETA’s investigation into Asmussen took place in New York, and both Weaver and Brown were investigated and prosecuted in New York, which leads more than $ 230 million in annual support payments for horse racing. Even with increased wallets due to government subsidies, Asmussen and other instructors continue to steal from their employees… It is clear that from workers who receive dirty wages to horses who receive frightening fatal injuries, more regulations are needed to protect exploited individuals in the racing industry.
Take steps to keep your horses safe
In 2020, 60 horses died at New York City Racetrack, and the New York State Games Commission did not do enough to prevent more horses from dying. Please tell the commission to act now:
Play for the horses at the New York Racecourse!