LITTLETON, Colo. – Several former employees of the now-closed Dirty Pit Craft House in Littleton contacted Denver7, claiming they owed thousands in unpaid wages and filed complaints with the US Department of Labor and Employment. Colorado.
Miranda Myers worked as a server two days a week from February to early May. She said the red flags started popping up almost immediately as she noticed high turnover and heard others complaining about not getting paychecks. But, she said, management would explain its concerns and promise it was working to get its payroll process up and running.
“Every time I was supposed to get paid, I got the sleight of hand, ‘come that day, come that day,’ and I still had no pay,” Myers said. “When I did get paid, it would be a random personal check, it wouldn’t be for the full amount.”
Several employees described Dirty Pit’s pay as haphazard and much less than what they should have earned for the hours worked. A formal payment process was never established, even though management told employees they worked with payroll systems. Instead, employees sometimes received personal checks from owners and at other times received payments through Venmo.
“There’s a lot of salespeople, there’s a lot of bands, there’s a lot of people who haven’t been paid,” Myers said. “So, [management is] collecting all that income, without even trying to pay anyone.
Joshua Sandoval, who held several positions at the restaurant between January and April this year, said he owed $3,667 in unpaid wages, “not including overtime”. He said he initially took the job because he bought into the vision of a Colorado-owned business as a native of the state.
“I want customers to come in and leave happier than when they arrived,” Sandoval said. “I thought things were going to get better slowly. They never did.
Sandoval quit his job in April. He said he has since filed a wage payment claim form with the Colorado Department of Labor and Education and has begun speaking with attorneys to initiate legal action. He knows a few colleagues who are pursuing the same process. He said communication with his former bosses has almost completely broken down since then.
Denver7 spoke to another former worker who is actively pursuing legal action, but declined to be identified and interviewed for this story.
“I don’t want this to happen to anyone else,” Miranda Myers said, explaining why she decided to go public with her accusations. “I don’t think it should happen in another company, to another person.”
Katie Kinney, one of Dirty Pit’s owners, called Denver7’s newsroom to say she wanted to share her side of the story. She told us she was unable to participate in an in-person interview, but would send a written statement to include in this story. At press time, we had not received a statement.
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