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To: Kim Bartmann and MN Governor Tim Walz

Kim Bartmann: Pay Us What You Owe Us

Kim Bartmann: Pay Us What You Owe Us

We, the employees of Barbette, Pat’s Tap, Red Stag Supperclub, Tiny Diner, Book Club, Trapeze and Gigi’s Cafe, demand that Kim Bartmann and the Bartmann Group pay us our earned wages and tips now. WITHHOLDING EARNED TIPS AND WAGES IS THEFT, and right now more than ever, we need the wages we’ve earned.

On March 19th, the employees of the Bartmann group were notified that our checks for the week prior to this closure, wages and tips we had already earned, would not be available.

Before the Coronavirus outbreak, our workplaces were under declining management and investment by Kim Bartmann. Liquor licenses went unpaid, staff schedules were being cut without any communication, and management positions were not being filled after turnover, leaving the management of individual restaurants to us, minimum wage workers.

We are not the only workers struggling right now; we are facing an unprecedented crisis, and working people in Minnesota deserve to be protected during this time. We are calling on the State of Minnesota to enact a policy for 15 days of Emergency Paid Time Off paid for by employers and provided to all workers, no exceptions, who have to miss work. To avoid impacting small businesses, we are calling on the state to implement a separate tax on the largest businesses in the state including Amazon, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, Target, Ecolab and others, and small to medium sized businesses can apply for a tax credit equal to 100% of the paid sick leave benefit they have paid out. If workers have to miss more than 15 days for any reason related to the crisis, they should be able to access unemployment insurance benefits immediately without counting the benefit against the employer's experience rating, and with a moratorium on employer challenges during the pandemic.

Why is this important?

On Monday, March 16th, in response to the spread of COVID-19, Kim Bartmann closed the seven restaurants she owns in the Twin Cities, laying off all workers. On March 19th, we, the employees of the Bartmann group, were notified that our checks for the week prior to this closure, wages we had already earned, would not be available. Furthermore, a time and date when these checks would be made available was not given. We deserve our earned wages, especially in a time when so many of us are unable to work, and are struggling to make ends meet. We, the employees of Barbette, Pat’s Tap, Red Stag Supperclub, Tiny Diner, Book Club, Trapeze and Gigi’s Cafe, demand that Kim Bartmann and the Bartmann Group pay us our earned wages.

As a result of not making payroll, Kim Bartmann is withholding both our hourly wages and our tips from last week's pay period, this is theft and we are demanding that Kim Bartmann turn over these wages. For those of us who have had checks bounce from previous pay periods, we demand that Kim Bartmann make these wages available immediately. Under Minnesota Statutes § 181.13, we are entitled to receive all of our final wages within 24 hours of this demand. Failure to provide final wages within 24 hours of this demand may result in a penalty of up to 15 days of additional wages.

In her email, Kim Bartmann strongly urged all of us to apply for unemployment, which most of us have now done. But, unemployment is not a substitute for stolen wages and tips AND many immigrant workers may be ineligible for unemployment benefits.

In order to ensure that we and our communities can pay for food, medical needs and other basic necessities, we are calling on the State of Minnesota to enact a policy for 15 days of Emergency Paid Time Off paid for by employers and provided to all workers, no exceptions, who have to miss work (including retroactively covering days that have already been lost) due to the coronavirus pandemic for any reason, be it for a temporary job shut down, personally getting sick, caring for kids when schools shut down, or any other related reason. The 15 days should be in addition to whatever benefits workers already have in their workplace. To avoid impacting small businesses, we are calling on the state to implement a separate tax on the largest businesses in the state including Amazon, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, Target, Ecolab and others, and small to medium sized businesses can apply for a tax credit equal to 100% of the paid sick leave benefit they have paid out. If workers have to miss more than 15 days for any reason related to the crisis, they should be able to access unemployment insurance benefits immediately without counting the benefit against the employer's experience rating, and with a moratorium on employer challenges during the pandemic.

Finally, we remind the Bartmann Group that it is against federal law to retaliate against an employee for making a discrimination or wage-related complaint. This includes discharging, penalizing, disciplining or in any other manner discriminating against workers for this activity. 29 U.S.C. § 215(a)(3).

Most of us, as bartenders, cooks, dishwashers, and servers in the industry, live from paycheck to paycheck. These paychecks are for hours ALREADY worked during a time that should have been considered hazardous to our health, exposing us to large amounts of people, and we deserve to be paid.

We should not have to choose between paying for essential food, rent and medical supplies and compromising social solidarity (social distancing) or exposing ourselves to further risks.


Reasons for signing

  • I'm a former employee. Being an owner/operator involves rewards and risks. Bartmann Group signed up for this risk - crisis management comes with the privilege of being a business owner. The hardworking staff has always deserved better - they trust your company with their lives/livelihoods and just ask for the pay that they are owed. Do this, and then do better.
  • To support workers. They should be paid what they’re owed.
  • Wage theft is illegal and I'm disgusted by Bartmann's exploitation

Updates

2020-03-23 22:29:12 -0400

1,000 signatures reached

2020-03-23 19:30:49 -0400

500 signatures reached

2020-03-23 18:06:18 -0400

100 signatures reached

2020-03-23 17:47:33 -0400

50 signatures reached

2020-03-23 17:34:18 -0400

25 signatures reached

2020-03-23 17:21:38 -0400

10 signatures reached