Adam Putnam's family citrus business violated federal labor laws in 2008


The citrus company owned by the family of Adam Putnam, a Republican candidate for Florida governor, was penalized for not paying workers minimum wage, among other workplace violations.

An investigation by the Tampa Bay Times found that Putnam’s family business in Polk County was cited for the violation by the U.S. government in 2008.

According to U.S. Department of Labor records, the Putnam Groves of Bartow was ordered to pay back wages of $1,634.72 to four workers, all of whom were paid less than the minimum wage in 2008, which was $6.79 an hour. Putnam, who was a member of Congress at the time, voted against a bill to raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 over a two-year period in 2007, making him one of 82 House Republicans who broke ranks with President George W. Bush and voted to nix the legislation.

From the Times:
Records indicate the company was assessed a civil penalty of $250 for not disclosing employment conditions to workers and not keeping employer records, according to a federal compliance report.

Putnam's campaign said Thursday that the $250 penalty was dismissed, and released a letter dated April 8, 2008, that said: "No penalties are being assessed as a result of this investigation."


In a statement Thursday, Putnam's campaign spokeswoman, Amanda Bevis, said: "As with any business, nothing is more important than its people. After a thorough review of the books, the federal auditors fined the business $250, which was dismissed as soon as the issue was resolved."

A Labor Department spokeswoman, however, said Thursday that the $250 penalty was indeed assessed. 

As part of Putnam's campaign platform, he has adamantly pushed back against modest firearm regulation, even going as far as to call himself a "proud NRA sellout" in July 2017. He's also advocated for Florida to further its vocational and technical job training programs.

After months of leading the Republican field in Florida's gubernatorial election, Putnam was recently knocked out of the limelight as U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Palm Coast, picked up endorsements from President Donald Trump and hosts at Fox News in his own push for the governor's mansion.

To read the government’s letter to Putnam and the Times’ full report, click here.

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