LAS VEGAS, NV–A near four-year civil proceeding with the Department of Labor (“DOL”) and a multi-state painting company called Unforgettable Coatings (“UCI”) has come to an end with the dismissal of claims of employee retaliation and a $3.6 million resolution.  There will be no admissions of guilt by or conclusions of wrongdoing against the ~400 employee company.

After years of discovery and the corresponding costs, UCI obtained an offer of settlement from the DOL without conclusions of guilt or admissions of any wrongdoing. No one was found guilty of cheating, discriminating, or retaliating against employees.

Counsel for the company indicated the case had largely been influenced by the local painters’ union.  UCI is a non-union company and in recent years has been the recipient of many coveted large construction projects, including the Las Vegas Raiders Stadium.

“Here is the bottom line; this isn’t about the bad treatment of people, it never was.  UCI is a non-union, merit-based contractor, that works within the Strip Corridor.  UCI’s service is exceptional, and often preferred by businesses on or near the strip.” said Cory Summerhays, CEO of UCI.  Not surprisingly, often times UCI’s painters are working while Union painters are sitting at home paying monthly dues.

UCI denied there was any deliberate attempt to take advantage of or harm any of its employees. “We have always sought for a competitive but also a performance pay system, and of course a legal one. As a small business employer, you assess things by looking at your employees’ feet. If they aren’t walking out the door, you’re likely on the right path.” Said Summerhays.

“For example,” Summerhays said, “a third-party study obtained for this case showed that employees are paid above average, most are well above average. This is exemplified by the fact that 3 of the 5 initial whistleblowers tied to the DOL’s case have since asked to return or already returned to work at UCI. Some employees in this case have been with us for years as front-line painters, with compensation of $100,000 or more annually.”

“One of the lessons learned through this process is that we cannot assume an objective assessment of a business will always occur; rather, government agencies at times may rely on the agenda of labor unions in their attempt to take down non-union businesses.  Many small businesses cannot survive such a tandem agenda. But we did not falter and nor will we; UCI is here to stay. “We’re just happy to have this long ordeal behind us,” said Summerhays.

“We had planned to litigate through to trial,” said Summerhays. “The day the DOL conceded to walk away with no conclusions of guilt we optimistically set plans to move on,” he added.

It was assumed by UCI ownership that the behavior of the local Painters Union would eventually be controlled by the courts. Employees as well as family members were stalked and harassed for years with some seeking individual restraining orders.

“Painters union representatives were kindly asked to leave by Cory Summerhays after showing up to his wife’s personal appointment to seemingly intimidate her.” Said counsel for the company. An exhibit was submitted in this case of a disparaging letter written by the painters’ union to Summerhays’ Church headquarters asking them to reconsider his membership.

Unforgettable Coatings is a 16-year-old company with full operations in Idaho, Utah, Arizona and Nevada. The non-union company has been awarded for “Inc. Magazine best workplaces in 2020” and is a donor to many local charities.

“We have the best employees our markets have to offer, and we care for them deeply. Any claims that we are conspiring to cause harm to them through clever pay practices is antithetical to who we are. Treat people well and they stick around, it is really that simple in business. Here, we move on with no guilt and we will celebrate this as an investment into our faithful employees. And so is life in small business, gratitude and perspective is everything.”Summerhays said.

With regard to the company’s solvency or if anything in the business would change as a result of the recent settlement, Summerhays said, “It’s a lot of money. This is a case however involving six companies in several states. We continue to have no debt; all will be well. We still provide the best quality service we can and at affordable prices for our clients. We deeply appreciate our customers who supported us despite the polarizing untruths in certain media. Nothing will deter us from our commitment to serve our employees well, knowing they will in turn serve our customers super-well.”

The whole process from the beginning to the end was great. I would have been pleased with the work that was performed in the outlined contract alone, but it was the extra details that made the project quality reach above and beyond my expectations.Thanks Unforgettable Coatings.

Mario DarangLegacy HOA

This was a large project with unexpected challenges outside of the scope of work. Not only did Unforgettable Coatings submit the necessary changes orders but also found a way to save the Association $18,000 from the contracted price. The project was completed under budget and on-time. We look forward to working with Unforgettable Coatings in the future.

ASTON ResortThe Viera Board of Directors, Viera HOA