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Kia dealer slapped with wage suit

Three former employees of a local auto dealership have sued in Allen County Superior Court, alleging that the company illegally withheld wages from the employees.

David Montoya, Gary Hamilton and Robert Bolen sued Fort-Rohr Motors Inc., which does business as Fort Wayne Kia and Fort Wayne Toyota. According to the lawsuit, the dealership took $12,000 from each of the three men in February and failed to return all of it.

The former employees are seeking not only the return of the wages but also up to three times the amount of actual damages under Indiana’s Crime Victim’s Relief Act, according to court documents.

Montoya worked as a finance manager, Hamilton was the Kia sales manager and Bolen was the general sales manager. The three had fixed salaries and additional compensation through commissions, according to court documents.

In February, Fort-Rohr Motors deducted portions of their paychecks because of “charge backs,” or fines imposed on the dealership by Kia Motors America for allegedly “erroneous reported sales of automobiles,” according court documents.

The three contend they never consented or authorized to the seizure of their wages, making the taking of the $12,000 a violation of state law, court records say.

The dealership later returned $5,963 to Montoya but none to the other two, according to the lawsuit.

All three filed an application for wage claim with the Indiana Department of Labor.

An official with Fort-Rohr Motors was not aware of the lawsuit Wednesday afternoon.