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ASI: Promo Pro Sued for Allegedly Firing, Not Paying Employees Who Unionized

The Wisconsin Department of Justice has brought the case against Jeremy Kruk, said to be the founder of Crushin’ It Apparel and successor companies.

By  Christopher Ruvo | April 12, 2024

The alleged owner of a Wisconsin-based promo products distributorship/apparel decorating company is facing a lawsuit that asserts he fired his employees for unionizing, then tried to get around an order to reinstate them and pay them back wages by shuttering his business and opening it under a new name.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice filed the suit alleging the unfair labor practices against Jeremy Kruk on behalf of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development on April 9.

The civil complaint asserts 11 employees are owed $8,230 altogether. Since Kruk acted willfully in not paying the workers the money state authorities say he owed them, he should be subject to a financial penalty that would make him pay double the wages due – $16,460 total, prosecutors maintain.

“We will work to ensure that the impacted employees receive what they’re owed,” said Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul.

The wage theft civil complaint identifies Kruk as the owner of Crushin’ It Apparel (asi/172246). That company’s Instagram and Facebook page no longer appear to be active, but its website was live as of this writing. That site identifies Kruk, along with his fiancée, as having founded Crushin’ It Apparel in 2017.

Around November 2022, 11 Crushin’ It employees voted to join the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades. Kruk, authorities state, “immediately fired them.”

A complaint was filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which ordered Kruk to reinstate the employees and to pay owed wages and benefits. The NLRB also demanded that Kruk not interfere with the workers’ right to unionize, according to prosecutors.

“Kruk ignored the NLRB order and instead shut down the company and reopened it under a new name in a new location,” the Wisconsin Department of Justice said in a statement. Kruk did so to avoid the alleged wage and benefit liability tied to Crushin’ It, according to authorities.

Court papers identify Kruk’s successor companies to Crushin’ It Apparel as Thunder Bay and ADK Promotions.

As of this writing, Kruk hadn’t responded to a request for comment. His LinkedIn profile identifies him as having been a “production assistant” at Thunder Bay for the last nine months, further stating he was owner of Thunder Bay from 2017 to August 2023.