KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Employees at a Kansas City pizza store are heading into Christmas without a job or a paycheck.
At least a dozen workers at the Little Caesars, located at 8793 Blue Ridge Blvd., were informed Saturday that their services were no longer needed and the store was closed.
“We got no warning at all,” said Dewayne Morrison, the assistant manager at the franchise.
They were told to throw out most of the food in the store and go home, according to Morrison.
Now, almost a week later, employees just want to know when they will receive their last paycheck.
“It’s stressful. I mean, it’s the holidays,” said Tameika Henson, who had been working at the pizza store since June.
Henson she said she’s already starting to experience the effects of being unemployed.
“When you live pay check to pay check, it makes it quite difficult to try to time these things out and keep bills going,” she said.
And to make matter worse, Henson said she hadn’t finished Christmas shopping for her 4-year-old son.
“As of right now, he has two gifts under the tree,” Henson said.
Feeling like they had exhausted all of their options, employees reached out to the Fox 4 Problem Solvers.
“We’re all trying to figure out what’s going on,” Morrison said.
Under Missouri Statute 290.110, employers are required to pay employees all wages when they are let go by an employer. The law goes on to state that if an employee isn’t paid, then he/she should write a send a certified letter requesting to be paid. The employer has seven days to respond. If the employer doesn't pay the discharged employee within that time period, additional wages may be due until the employee is paid.
Fox 4 reached out to the district manager for the store and was referred to the franchise’s owner, Alan Knox, based out of Utah. Knox would not comment on why the store closed, citing a franchise agreement.
Knox, who owns all of the Little Caesar’s in the Kansas City metro area, was under the impression he was following the law.
“They will be paid based on Missouri guidelines during the regular payroll cycle,” Knox said over the phone.
When Fox 4 informed him about the statute, he said that the paychecks were in the process of being sent and that employees should receive them next Wednesday.
“I completely understand their frustrations, but I can’t comment no further,” Knox said when pressed on what he would say to his former employees.
Although they're upset about not receiving their money, workers are more frustrated with how the store closure was handled.
“We fulfilled our obligations as employees, and we’re expected to give them two weeks’ notice, so I think it would’ve been nice to have the same respect so we could establish ourselves and, at least, be in a bit of a better predicament for the holidays because a lot of us have children,” Henson said.
Knox would not comment on whether any of his other 15 locations will close or if any are in the process of being closed.
Fox 4 reached out to Little Caesar’s corporate office for comment but have not received a response as Thursday evening.