I am a former wage and hour investigator with the N.C. Department of Labor. I worked under commissioners John Brooks, Harry Payne and Cherie Berry. I was disgusted by your attempt to vilify Berry in the Nov. 25 editorial “ Berry’s failure.”
During my time with the Department of Labor, Berry advocated both enforcement and education on wage and hour issues. I spent 40 to 50 percent of my time on random checks of small businesses and outreach, and the remainder on resolving wage complaints. While the department could not pursue each wage complaint in court, largely due to budget cuts that occurred under Democratic governors and lawmakers, we always provided complainants with info and documentation on filing small claims actions without the need for an attorney and referred larger cases or repeat offenders to the N.C. Attorney General’s office for adjudication. (The AG represents the Department of Labor in all court cases.)
We were prohibited by law from pursuing companies that had filed for bankruptcy protection but did provide info for complainants to file bankruptcy claims.
It seems to me that Berry’s greatest sins are being Republican and refusing to talk to an N&O reporter.