US Department of Labor sues Middlesboro’s Ike’s Artisan Pizza

London, Ky–Martin J Walsh, the Secretary of Labor of the United States, filed a federal lawsuit Monday against Ike’s Partisan Pizza of Middlesboro. Ike’s owner Isaac Martin Ausmus is also named in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges that a former Ike’s server, Amber Roberts, was fired in retaliation after contacting the Kentucky Labor Cabinet with concerns about her wages. At the time of termination, Roberts had been employed by Ike’s for about six months.

According to the complaint, in July 2022, Roberts worked a shift at Ike’s and at some point mentioned to her shift supervisor that she had contacted the Kentucky Labor Cabinet with concerns about her last paycheck. By the end of her shift, Roberts noticed her shifts had been removed from the server schedule. When she asked Ausmus why, he told her that it was because in retaliation for the call she had placed to the Kentucky Labor Cabinet. Roberts employment was terminated and she was told she was no longer welcome to work for Ausmus’s other companies either.

The lawsuit alleges that Ike’s violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act by firing Roberts. The act prohibits firing an employee in retaliation for filing a labor complaint.

In addition to an order forcing the defendants to follow the law in the future, the government seeks the following damages on behalf of Ms. Roberts: