Pamplin ordered to pay $55,000 in dispute with radio hosts Margie and Carl
The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries announced Tuesday that it has upheld an unfair labor practices complaint from on-air radio personalities Margie Boulé and Carl Wolfsohn against Pamplin Media Group.
Pamplin Media Group, which owns the Portland Tribune, will have to pay $55,000 — including a civil penalty of $41,024 — for unpaid wages, misclassification of employees and record keeping errors, according to the state agency.
Boulé and Wolfsohn were hosts of the KPAM AM 860 radio show "The Margie and Carl Show," which ran in 2016 and 2017.
BOLI determined that Pamplin misclassified Boulé and Wolfsohn as independent contractors. Pamplin argued during the contested hearing that even if the on-air radio personalities were employees, they were exempt from overtime requirements. The agency did not agree.
In a news release, BOLI also dinged the media company for not keeping nor providing time and payroll records to investigators. "Civil penalties are being assessed in the order for Pamplin's willful failure to keep these employee records," reads the news release.
BOLI listed among the evidence that Boulé and Wolfsohn were actually in an employee-employer relationship entitled to overtime pay: that Pamplin had control over the program; that Pamplin made the majority of the investments for the show; that Pamplin issued a flat "non-negotiable" rate per show of $200; that Boulé and Wolfsohn had several discussions of their show becoming a permanent fixture and that as part of Pamplin's FCC license they are obligated to broadcast radio content throughout the day and chose to contract with Boulé and Wolfsohn.
Ankur Doshi, an attorney for Pamplin Media Group, said in an email that the company may appeal the state agency's determination.
"Pamplin Broadcasting-Oregon is obviously disappointed with BOLI's Final Order, and will be reviewing the order to determine whether to appeal," Doshi said.
Pamplin Communications sold KPAM-AM 860 and KKOV-AM "Sunny 1550" earlier this year for $1.2 million.
Read the full news release and final order on the Boli website.