Defunct SoCal AltWeekly Owes Nearly $70,000 To Former Staffers

The California Labor Commission has determined that six former staffers of the former District Weekly in Long Beach, Calif., which folded in March, are owed $69,657 in unpaid wages and vacation pay.

District Weekly was launched in 2007 by OC Weekly‘s founding editor Will Swaim, just months after he resigned from that paper over “philosophical differences” with the management of OC Weekly‘s new owners, Village Voice Media.

He was joined by several other ex-staffers of OC Weekly, including Dave Wielenga, who became senior editor at District Weekly and was one of the employees who filed suit:

“I feel vindicated,” Wielenga says in the statement. “I understand that businesses close because they run out of money, but I think we were misled and treated unfairly. It is satisfying to have our sense of injustice officially validated.”

Seven Days reps did not appear before the commission, according to the statement, which notes labor panel judgments are valid for 20 years, may be renewed upon expiration and accrue 10 percent interest annually.

[Ed’s Note: Seven Days Publishing, LLC, mentioned above, has no affiliation with Seven Days, the alternative weekly paper based out of Burlington, Vt.]

OC Weekly‘s Matt Coker says that District Weekly also faces another lawsuit by a freelancer, who is claiming $1,360 in unpaid compensation.

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