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(Houston Press)   25 employees protest outside chef's restaurant demanding $15,000 owed in back wages, chef sends out two pizzas as compensation   (blogs.houstonpress.com) divider line 35
    More: Asinine, Eat Cake, Bruce Molzan, executive compensation, picket lines, chefs  
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11163 clicks; posted to Main » on 13 Feb 2013 at 2:41 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-13 01:38:58 PM
5 votes:

Dixon Cider: Seems the demonstration was misguided and pointed at the wrong person...
Shouldn't they be pissed at the owner of the original restaurant?


Kinda.

When the wife and I moved to Mass, we discovered that my last check from Bar Harbor had bounced. Included my bonus for the season and two 65 hour weeks since the KM was fired before the end of the season for fooling around with one of the slightly underage waitresses.

Made some calls, and lo the office number was disconnected. Made a call to his accountant and that was disconnected. Made a few more calls, and all the staff had their last checks bounce. Tried his home, and that was disconnected. Called the bank, and they said they couldn't help. Called the police and got in touch with a detective who was investigating the fella because EVERY check he'd written, including his car registration had bounced that last week.

Then I remembered that Gary and my wife's boss had mentioned that they were going to catch up on Pebble Beach to play golf. Called the detective, and a few days later the SCHP picked him up for driving an unregistered vehicle, and were getting ready to ship him back to Maine for fraud. The next day Gary called me up to apologize for a big "misunderstanding." Got my $3K by wire the next day, and by that time I'd made sure that all the staff who got stuffed, and the distributors had his number.

F*ck with cooks' cash at your own peril...
2013-02-13 01:30:05 PM
3 votes:

Dixon Cider: Seems the demonstration was misguided and pointed at the wrong person...
Shouldn't they be pissed at the owner of the original restaurant?



Sounds like they are. He's just now a chef at a different restaurant rather than an enterprise of his own. They're making his new job difficult until he pays what he (allegedly) owes them.
2013-02-13 03:41:30 PM
2 votes:

Sybarite: Dixon Cider: Seems the demonstration was misguided and pointed at the wrong person...
Shouldn't they be pissed at the owner of the original restaurant?


Sounds like they are. He's just now a chef at a different restaurant rather than an enterprise of his own. They're making his new job difficult until he pays what he (allegedly) owes them.


Sorry to these people, but this is what an LLC is for. Unless they can "pierce the veil" and show that the restaurant had a ton of cash that he made off with in his pocket, he's in the same boat. I owned a dive bar once. I never made a dime off of it. We scraped and scrounged at the end, and when we finally declared bankruptcy, not everyone got everything they were owed. Fortunately we were able to make a priority out of getting wages to our employees (which we did #1 before anything else), but the last month of rent wasn't paid, and the DirecTV people never got their money.

I am not the LLC. The landlord might want to come to my new place of business (where I am an employee) and protest, but I don't have to dig into my salary at my new job to pay him money the corporation owed him.
2013-02-13 02:59:21 PM
2 votes:

kronicfeld: TommyymmoT: Why is he not charged with theft of services?

Because it's not?


Employment law varies by state, but most likely the only chance they have is a class action law suit.  Unfortunately if the owner filed bankruptcy (or oodles of other loopholes) he can get financially off the hook for back wages.  It is actually quite a common exploitation of the laws that protect businesses.
2013-02-13 02:47:51 PM
2 votes:

TommyymmoT: Why is he not charged with theft of services?


Because hes one of the holy "job creators"? He can do no wrong.

Now if the employees had stolen $15k from their boss, they'd probably be doing jail time by now.
2013-02-13 02:04:03 PM
2 votes:
I was wondering if he had his hands tied because the business went bankrupt, or something like that.

So I looked it up.

Nope, he's just an asshole.
2013-02-13 01:31:43 PM
2 votes:

Sybarite: Dixon Cider: Seems the demonstration was misguided and pointed at the wrong person...
Shouldn't they be pissed at the owner of the original restaurant?


Sounds like they are. He's just now a chef at a different restaurant rather than an enterprise of his own. They're making his new job difficult until he pays what he (allegedly) owes them.


exactly.  TFA also states that the guy doesn't question the fact that he woes them money - he simply has never paid it.
2013-02-13 10:27:33 PM
1 votes:

EmmaLou: I was under the impression that he just closed the restaurant, not that he declared bankruptcy. Then again, i didn't read that closely.


It doesn't really matter.  Either he closed down the restaurant (and perhaps the LLC controlling it) and paid out what bankruptcy court told him to pay out or he didn't go the bankruptcy route.  If he didn't go into bankruptcy than you can just sue that company for wages.  He's either a valid legal target or he isn't, and if he isn't it means some bankruptcy court already handed out whatever it could.

Personally I think the mostly likely thing is the restaurant failed, bankruptcy occurred, the staff got pennies on the dollar because there were only pennies in the restaurant's accounts, and now they are attacking the individual in hopes of pressuring him into using whatever money he is earning at this new job (or was money they did not have legal access to) to pay them off and make him go away.

Given the number of people involved and sum of money, it seems likely he only missed their last pay cycle, which is a sign he was trying to keep the place afloat and it all came crashing down, as opposed to some long term plan to dick them out of their money.  We have bankruptcy laws and the ability for people to get a fresh start in this country for a variety of reasons and continuing to go after this guy really seems to go against the spirit of those ideals.  If he played the system and was living on some gold plated yacht after a ponzi scheme, I could see some outrage, but given he missed one pay cycle and is now working in someone else's restaurant, it seems more like his business venture just failed and everyone suffered.
2013-02-13 04:28:09 PM
1 votes:
Tomorrow, I'll be quitting my job.

The problem is that I cannot serve two more weeks. I can give one week's notice, at most. It's because my new employer can't wait. They need someone NOW, and I don't want to pass up this opportunity. I got them to wait one week for me to start.

Anyway, I am scared to even offer my one week's notice at my current employer. Suppose the company doesn't pay me for the week I just finished? Suppose they're pissed that I'm not giving the customary 2 weeks notice and, for my final check, they only pay me minimum wage, instead of the 16 bucks/hour I'm supposed to be earning?

So many ways I could get screwed here....
2013-02-13 04:20:17 PM
1 votes:

max_pooper: IRQ12: Tommy Moo: Sybarite: Dixon Cider: Seems the demonstration was misguided and pointed at the wrong person...
Shouldn't they be pissed at the owner of the original restaurant?


Sounds like they are. He's just now a chef at a different restaurant rather than an enterprise of his own. They're making his new job difficult until he pays what he (allegedly) owes them.

Sorry to these people, but this is what an LLC is for. Unless they can "pierce the veil" and show that the restaurant had a ton of cash that he made off with in his pocket, he's in the same boat. I owned a dive bar once. I never made a dime off of it. We scraped and scrounged at the end, and when we finally declared bankruptcy, not everyone got everything they were owed. Fortunately we were able to make a priority out of getting wages to our employees (which we did #1 before anything else), but the last month of rent wasn't paid, and the DirecTV people never got their money.

I am not the LLC. The landlord might want to come to my new place of business (where I am an employee) and protest, but I don't have to dig into my salary at my new job to pay him money the corporation owed him.

Exactly, the truth is that a lot of business owners  (especially restaurants)  fight to the bitter end to keep the doors open and 'making payroll' is usually the last bill to fall and the doors close.  I don't know who this is personally but I doubt he had the money then or has the money now to pay them.

They lost a weeks pay, he probably lost everything.

I guessed you missed the part of the article where he had claimed he would pay all the back wages. It seems like he's just an arsehole.


I didn't miss it, but I did read a bit more into it and it does seem like he's a real prize (suing the people who walked out, even though he acknowledged he owed them money).

The point stands though.  There are courts/laws for this kind of thing.
2013-02-13 04:02:39 PM
1 votes:

umad: As a fellow human of low intelligence, I wholeheartedly support getting revenge by attacking uninvolved third parties.


It's just a way of putting pressure on him to pay up. If I were him, I'd be concerned if a bunch of folks showed up at my new job and started protesting me. Whether he has the money or not, that remains to be seen I guess.

/that darn constitution, always getting in the way.
2013-02-13 03:52:45 PM
1 votes:
Here's a question for all you not-really-a-lawyer Farkers:

Mrs. Orange used to work for a company, that didn't pay her wages for two months.  She quit as a result.  They did eventually give her a small check, but not ever the whole amount.  We just wrote it off as the business owners being horrible people.

This year, she gets a W-2 from them, and it has the full wages (that she should have gotten, but never did).  We laughed, then sent the business a letter demanding a corrected W-2 showing what she was actually paid.  We're not going to pay taxes on income she never got.

No response from them yet, so we're ready to call the IRS to see what they think.  Anything else we should consider?
2013-02-13 03:50:51 PM
1 votes:

The Stealth Hippopotamus: ha-ha-guy: Restaurants fail and do so frequently.  Assuming the workers got whatever they could when Ruggles was shut down and its assets sold off, it sucks, but protesting the place the former owner is working is just shaking the guy down.

And how many tip threads have we had? Remember you have to tip and tip well because they "live" off tips.

Maybe they get paid better than we think if they are willing to protest outside the restaurant


If they're anything like waitstaff up here, they get about $3 per hour, plus tips.  If the tips are stupendous, you can afford to live in a building with doors and windows, instead of a box.
2013-02-13 03:40:52 PM
1 votes:

Fark Rye For Many Whores: Random Anonymous Blackmail: I am ashamed, 28 posts and has yet to turn into a delicious pizza snob thread.

/so very hungry.

Here ya go
[img541.imageshack.us image 500x667]


I am now curious to try that
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-02-13 03:37:15 PM
1 votes:
The Illinois law seems fairly typical until the last section where punishment for noncompliance is effectively infinite. The part about terminated employees' last paychecks is employer-friendly compared to California.
2013-02-13 03:34:16 PM
1 votes:

born_yesterday: Dimensio: Would not waiting quietly and out-of-sight at the place of business until Mr. Molzan left the building, then beating him severely, cutting off a finger and warning that more parts would be removed for every day that workers remained unpaid, work more effectively?

I was gonna say take one or both of his hands, so I'd call your proposal damn reasonable.


Many, many years ago when I worked in the food service industry we had an owner that loved to screw over the kitchen staff on overtime wages.  So one night one of the dishwashers went out back and dumped an entire gallon of that pink "Dish Sanitizer" into the tank of his month-old Mercedes.  Car didn't make it 2 blocks.

/not saying it was right
//just saying I understand...
2013-02-13 03:29:47 PM
1 votes:

deanis: Fark Rye For Many Whores: Random Anonymous Blackmail: I am ashamed, 28 posts and has yet to turn into a delicious pizza snob thread.

/so very hungry.

Here ya go
[img541.imageshack.us image 500x667]

That is a thing?


Normaly you cook the pizza and cookies seperatly...
2013-02-13 03:27:17 PM
1 votes:
they should have known to jump ship when they tasted the food they were serving at Ruggles.To quote a three year old "Ca Ca Poo Poo"
2013-02-13 03:18:17 PM
1 votes:

Mirrorz: Seems like if your boss owed you $14-15K you would have stopped working somewhere around when he only owed you a week's pay.


$15K/25 workers = $600 each..... about a weeks pay.
2013-02-13 03:16:15 PM
1 votes:

Mirrorz: Seems like if your boss owed you $14-15K you would have stopped working somewhere around when he only owed you a week's pay.


Its seems as if you did not read the article. The old boss owes $14-15K in total to the employees, not each. It probably accounts for the last pay checks these folks were due before they business shuttered.
2013-02-13 03:16:02 PM
1 votes:
I hope the patrons at Corner Table like their dinner with extra, EXTRA spit.

Stealing from poor cooks and servers is just so...Texas.
2013-02-13 03:13:56 PM
1 votes:

gingerjet: HyperX: I am not sure how it is somewhere else, but in Illinois, as a business owner, if I didn't pay someone their wages I would be in jail. 1099 contractors are different. But w-2 employees can't be skipped. No matter what.

You wouldn't be in jail but you could be sued by said employee.

/the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act is yet another reason not to do business in Illinois


"The IWPCA requires employers to pay their employees within a specific number of days after compensation is earned. For employees who have quit or been terminated, the act also requires employers to pay final compensation at the time of separation (if possible) but no later than the next regularly scheduled payday. Finally, the IWPCA prohibits employers from withholding any amount unless an employee has authorized the withholding in writing. The only exceptions are sums owed pursuant to a valid wage assignment or wage deduction order, as well as insurance and pension payments. "

Yeah, that sounds like some pretty outrageous stuff there.
2013-02-13 03:01:53 PM
1 votes:

HyperX: I am not sure how it is somewhere else, but in Illinois, as a business owner, if I didn't pay someone their wages I would be in jail. 1099 contractors are different. But w-2 employees can't be skipped. No matter what.


You wouldn't be in jail but you could be sued by said employee.

/the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act is yet another reason not to do business in Illinois
2013-02-13 02:57:57 PM
1 votes:
What's this world coming to when workers demand to be paid for their labor? We should make this the next big fight for the GOP
2013-02-13 02:56:59 PM
1 votes:
FTA: "Corner Table's managers and valets scurried outside amid chants of "Ruggles workers are still in the struggle!""

They need someone to come up with a better slogan than that. The rhythm of the sentence takes away from the impact of the rhyme. And perhaps they shouldn't even use "struggle" because the "s" in Ruggles makes the whole thing a little awkward-sounding. The chant is supposed to sound catchy so people will remember it.
2013-02-13 02:56:45 PM
1 votes:
Vote GOP and stick it to these mooching freeloaders who are harassing a True Patriot Job Creator.
2013-02-13 02:56:36 PM
1 votes:
Who cares? Servers are sub-human peons! Get a better job, morans!
2013-02-13 02:52:16 PM
1 votes:

HyperX: I am not sure how it is somewhere else, but in Illinois, as a business owner, if I didn't pay someone their wages I would be in jail. 1099 contractors are different. But w-2 employees can't be skipped. No matter what.


I guess the question I have is if the business went bankrupt, wouldn't wages be the first thing to get paid or are they at the back of the line?
2013-02-13 02:49:50 PM
1 votes:
Would not waiting quietly and out-of-sight at the place of business until Mr. Molzan left the building, then beating him severely, cutting off a finger and warning that more parts would be removed for every day that workers remained unpaid, work more effectively?
2013-02-13 02:45:15 PM
1 votes:

Dixon Cider: Uh... what?


See if you can follow.

Corner Table is the new restaurant where Molzan works. The protesters were unpaid when they worked for Ruffles, which was the prior restaurant that Molzan owned. So they are pissed at the owner (Molzan) of the original restaurant (Ruffles) and are protesting him - Molzan - at the restaurant where he is now employed.
2013-02-13 02:45:09 PM
1 votes:
I am not sure how it is somewhere else, but in Illinois, as a business owner, if I didn't pay someone their wages I would be in jail. 1099 contractors are different. But w-2 employees can't be skipped. No matter what.
2013-02-13 02:40:16 PM
1 votes:

kronicfeld: Dixon Cider: Shouldn't they be pissed at the owner of the original restaurant?

Uh....The protesters were mostly waiters themselves, along with other kitchen workers who say that Molzan still owes them back wages from his now-closed restaurant, Ruggles Grill.


"But Molzan is not an owner at Corner Table. That would be Darla Lexington, longtime companion to famous Texas lawyer <a data-cke-saved-href="http://texaslawyer.typepad.com/texas_lawyer_blog/ 2012/01/darla-lexingt on-settles-dispute-with-john-oquinn-estate-foundation.html">John O'Quinn, who died in a car accident in 2009."


Uh... what?
2013-02-13 01:38:11 PM
1 votes:

TommyymmoT: Why is he not charged with theft of services?


Because it's not?
2013-02-13 01:34:02 PM
1 votes:

Dixon Cider: Shouldn't they be pissed at the owner of the original restaurant?


Uh....The protesters were mostly waiters themselves, along with other kitchen workers who say that Molzan still owes them back wages from his now-closed restaurant, Ruggles Grill.
2013-02-13 01:11:49 PM
1 votes:
Seems the demonstration was misguided and pointed at the wrong person...
Shouldn't they be pissed at the owner of the original restaurant?
 
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