WZTV Top Stories


WGNS Radio

The Weather Channel: National Weather Outlook

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Tennessee Put's Lein's Against Sommet Group

The company that once put its name on the Nashville arena has its reputation on the line.
Sommet Group boasts that it can make things easier for other companies by overseeing their payroll, tax and insurance issues but now, Sommet and 54 of its trusting customers are staring at a lien from the state.Their name became a common term in Nashville because for years it stretched across the Sommet Center.However, in January when the Sommet Group suddenly lost those naming rights, it raised questions about the Franklin based company.On the Sommet group's website, it describes itself as an innovative company that handles the chores of payroll, billing, and insurance for smaller companies.A representative on the website asks, “Wouldn't it be a lot more efficient to have a dedicated payroll person to make sure everyone gets paid on time and accurately?”But apparently Sommet hasn't been paying their own bills.On Friday, Jeff Hentschel of the Tennessee Department of Labor said, “They haven't paid their unemployment insurance for the first quarter, so that was due at the end of April” when asked about Sommet.On Wednesday the Department of Labor filed a lien against the Sommet Group and while they didn't pay, neither did the 54 other companies Sommet represents.Hentschel said, “Just for Sommet's employees only, not the associated companies, we're talking about more than $17,000 are due. Both Sommet and those companies are libel for these payments.” Channel 4 spoke with the president of one of those companies Sommet represents. The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said by phone that after four years of a great relationship with Sommet, she terminated the contract with them on Wednesday after learning that Sommet had been taking their money but not paying the company's bills.When questioned about this, Jeffrey Sowell with the Sommet Group said in a statement, "We work hard every day at Sommet Group to provide our clients with the best service we can. We deal with a number of complex issues. We understand that this is an important matter to our clients and us. We are already in the process of resolving the matter."Sowell also said Sommet currently employees between 80 to 100 employees. When asked if the company was in danger of closing, he said no.Sowell also said, “These issues have nothing to do with the naming rights at the arena. That was resolved earlier in the year.”However, the Nashville Predators sued the Sommet Group last Fall claiming they weren't making their payments.Should any employee of Sommet or any of these companies be fired or laid off, they could still receive unemployment benefits even though their parent company hasn't paid premiums.

No comments:

Post a Comment