Le Bec-Fin Stiffs Employees (At Least For Now)

Imagine your boss tells you to take a couple of weeks off, paid. You do, of course. Maybe you hit the beach. Maybe you head to New York for a few days. Maybe you just sit there in your apartment, catching up on Breaking Bad, while draining a box of wine. You get back to work, well rested, and pick up your paycheck. Only something isn’t right.

That’s just what happened at Le Bec-Fin the other day. After returning from vacation, during which Le Bec underwent renovations, those employees entitled to paid vacation realized their checks were short and that they weren’t, in fact, compensated for what was supposed to be paid vacation time. “If I had known I wasn’t going to get all my money,” says one steaming staffer, “I would have just bought a bunch of TV dinners and stayed home the whole time.”

According to the employee, an HR representative sat down with the staff on Tuesday night and told them, “If we pay you, we’ll have to close the restaurant down immediately.” They were also told that they might see the money in September, says the employee.

“Bullshit!” insists Perrier. “This is bullshit, and I am not in the fucking mood! We’re not going to pay people when the restaurant has been closed for days. We cannot pay!” He refused to elaborate but referred me to his HR/payroll manager, Cathy Aguilera. “The restaurant was closed, and we had every intention of paying the employees — the ones who are eligible for vacation time — we were going to pay them,” says Aguilera, apologetically. “But we weren’t able to.”

In reference to the employees being told that they wouldn’t be paid until September, Aguilera says, “Clearly there are some angry employees out there, but it seems they are exaggerating. We told them that it would be at the latest September.”

I’m sure that PGW and AT&T will gladly wait until September to get paid, too.