Ronn [sic] Torossian's Rowdy Labor Department Run-In
By Hamilton Nolan • Gawker
This morning we heard that 5WPR, flackery-mongering home of incompetent superflack Ronn [sic] Torossian, had a run-in with the Labor department yesterday. We have details from insiders. They are more ridiculous than you may have anticipated. Craziness, ahoy!
In the past year and a half, we've heard from many former 5WPR employees complaining about how Ronn and his agency treat their employees—sample complaints here, and also here, for example. Complaints we've heard include not paying correctly for overtime, wanton firings, and, of course, Ronn's penchant for screaming at and/or suing his current and former employees. (Not to mention the things 5W does in the normal course of business). So it's not altogether surprising that the Labor department might take notice eventually. We've contacted Ronn and the state Labor department, and we'll let you know if and when we hear from them.
In the meantime, we've gotten a steady enough stream of tips to paint this basic picture: Labor dept. auditors arrive at 5W's office yesterday. Ronn allegedly tries to slip away quietly; then, gets angry—so angry that police have to come to the office to make sure the Labor dept. officials can do their job. This is the most complete account, written by a witness and passed on to us:
Someone from dept of labor showed up yesterday and asked to speak with Ronn.
The receptionist said Ronn wasn't available; then Ronn proceeded to the front,
pretending he was someone else. He started speaking with them and then he asked
them to leave. When they said refused, he started yelling at them and looked
like he was going to start fighting them. Then the cop showed up and escorting
the DOL people into Ronn's office.
Then the new receptionist sent an email "The Department of Labor is doing a random
audit on 5W. If you are asked to sit with one of them please do not be alarmed
and please cooperate."
And they randomly selected people to interview about working at 5W.
That's pretty much all of it.
HEH. Another tipster tells us that a friend who works at 5W put this up as their Gchat status:
"Should I be concerned if BOTH cops AND Department of Labor is in our office right now and our CEO pretended NOT to be the CEO?"
We would say yes but of course we are not public relations experts! And the worst part of all, we hear: "They didn't even get the day off."
UPDATE: A spokesperson for the Labor department confirms the visit and says it was generated by a tip about a workplace violation. "We did go there yesterday, we are investigating, and we encourage all workers in any part of the city or state to come forward if they think they're rights are being violated," she said. She had no further info about what, if anything, they've found.