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A Utah company faces $55,000 in penalties for violating Wisconsin’s traveling sales crew law, the state Department of Workforce Development announced Monday.

The Equal Rights Division of DWD cited the company, Satton Marketing of Orem, Utah, for operating a traveling sales crew without registration in violation of state statute known as “Malinda’s Law.”

Malinda’s Law, passed in 2009, regulates traveling sales crews in the wake of a horrific 1999 van crash that left seven teenagers who were part of a crew dead, including 18-year-old Malinda Turvey of Verona.

Five other people were seriously injured in the

crash.

The Equal Rights Division accused Satton Marketing of illegally operating a 12-member traveling sales crew that conducted door-to-door sales of DirectTV and Dish Network upgrades and services beginning in

May 2012.

Crew members reportedly stayed temporarily in apartments the company rented in Fitchburg while traveling to nearby communities, including Waunakee, Madison, Sauk City, Beloit, Janesville and others.

The state also said when it contacted Satton executives, the company’s chief executive officer, Phillip Stockton, said crew members were independent contractors and as a result exempt from Malinda’s Law provisions. But state law prohibits traveling sales crew members from being categorized as independent contractors.

Grant Miser, Satton’s chief operations officer,

could not be reached for comment.

The Equal Rights Division is asking the state Department of Justice to pursue the maximum penalties and forfeitures allowed under the law, which totals $55,000 in this case.

“Malinda’s Law protects workers and homeowners from the potential dangers posed by unlicensed traveling sales crews,” DWD Secretary Reggie Newson said in a statement.

“The law also ensures that companies provide important protections to workers, including limiting the hours they can work and requiring inspections of the vehicles that transport the crew members.”

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State Government Reporter for Wisconsin State Journal