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Springfield, MO

Former Daneproof employees, owner clash

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Brought into the spotlight by a Better Business Bureau warning earlier this month, the owner and former employees of Daneproof are threatening legal action against each other.

Crystal Palicki and Emma Tomlin, who last year filed suit against Daneproof owner Dan Smith, say they and others are owed wages from the company. Palicki, who worked in a human relations role for the firm, provided documentation to Springfield Business Journal showing more than $9,000 owed to 12 employees between the weeks of April 21 and June 30, 2017, after which she left the company. According to the payroll document, Palicki is owed $1,626 and Tomlin has an unpaid balance of $748.

Last year, Palicki and Tomlin’s small-claims suit for the back pay fell short. They say they were unable to prove Smith was the owner of Red Tile Rehab LLC, Daneproof’s former parent company the employees say issued them paychecks prior to a change to Daneventures LLC.

Separately, LaborMax Staffing filed a small-claims suit against Red Tile Rehab resulting in a $4,061 judgment in favor of the staffing firm plaintiff in August, according to court documents.

Smith disputes further claims by Palicki and Tomlin, saying the court ruling and an audit found no violations against Daneproof.

“I’ve got a court ruling saying I owe them nothing,” Smith said.

Instead, Smith claims Palicki was an employee “who was being paid to keep my books but was keeping bad books.” He also alleges Palicki embezzled funds from the company, which Palicki and Tomlin say is a defamation effort.

“He’s a very good con artist,” Tomlin said.

Smith said he’s examining company documentation, with plans to file a criminal suit against Palicki.

On the employee side, Tomlin said she and Palicki are working to gather former workers in an effort to file a class-action suit against Smith and Daneproof. Palicki and Tomlin run a Facebook page called Great Dane Solutions and Dane Proof Truth, where other former employees claim lost wages, among other issues.

The BBB’s Jan. 3 cautionary release about Daneproof claimed the company failed to send beds meant for Great Danes and other large dog breeds to customers for as long as six months.

Smith this morning said the company is soon planning a sales push after nearly facing closure and a possible bankruptcy.

“We make beds and it takes forever to get one because we had growing pains,” he said. “We had a lot of setbacks, but those are over. Now, it’s time to move forward.”

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