2 Oklahoma companies in trafficking lawsuit settle pay claim

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Two Oklahoma companies accused in a federal human trafficking lawsuit of underpaying immigrant workers have reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Labor.

A Jan. 25 order from the department’s Wage and Hour Division shows Hotelmacher and Steakmacher, both of Clinton, will pay more than $31,500, including nearly $16,200 to immigrants who were in the U.S. in 2012 on work visas.

Two separate human trafficking lawsuits allege company owners Walter Schumacher and his wife, Carolyn Schumacher, lured the immigrants to the U.S., then paid substandard wages at two hotels, a water park and Montana Mike’s steakhouse. Steakmacher has since sold Montana Mike’s.

The ongoing lawsuits come amid a national debate over immigrants in the U.S. and whether a wall should be built along the Mexican border.

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