MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) - Employees at Michigan Steel say a 13 On Your Side investigation was helpful in getting their employer to stop issuing bad checks. But according to workers, it's happening yet again.
"Something has to get done because it is getting old," said Michigan Steel employee Troy Barnes earlier this month before he was laid off. Barns and his co-workers started contacting WZZM 13 after area banks wouldn't cash their paychecks.
Following our report, employees say management at Michigan Steel made special arrangements to make good on those pay checks. But now after two good pay periods, workers say the checks they received last Friday are not being accepted at the bank their employer uses.
The employees we talked to wouldn't go on camera for fear they would be fired.
Previous Coverage: Michigan Steel payroll problems
Public records show Michigan Steel has lingering financial problems. The company owes the city of Muskegon more than $300,000 in back taxes. And 13 On Your Side also uncovered a stack of tax liens on file at the Muskegon County Register of Deeds. They show the company owes withholdings to the Michigan Employment Security Commission.
There are also three bills, one for $210,000, another for $52,000, and one for $6,000. Added together with other tax liens dating back to 2007, Michigan Steel owes the state approximately $900,000.
And despite our repeated efforts, the company owner and president have not returned WZZM 13's phone calls.
Other public records show the company was behind in federal taxes too. But a tax lien placed on Michigan Steel by the IRS was released after a bill for $67,000 was paid off.