1,000 signatures reached
To: Ownership of BG Capital
Pay Us What We're Owed
I was a hard working and ambitious employee of BG Cowboy’s Saloon until I was notified by text message one morning that the restaurant was closing immediately. My coworkers and I were left without jobs and never paid for the work we performed in the weeks leading up to the closing. I am calling on BG Cowboy’s Saloon to:
(1) pay us the money we are owed
(2) provide 2 weeks severance pay
(3) meet with my coworkers, the Restaurant Opportunities Centers of NY and myself to discuss how his other businesses can do better by their employees.
Why is this important?
My name is Michele Lindor and I am a former manager for BG’s Cowboy’s Saloon in Syracuse, New York.
My experience working for BG Cowboy’s Saloon was short-lived but definitely memory packed. I was asked to join the BG team in February 2017. After 2 months of serving, I was promoted to service manager and then quickly took on the responsibility of bar management as well. My hours were strenuous and never ending; I even have slept in the restaurant before because my commute was too long for me to leave and then turn back for my shift in less than 3 hours. I was constantly left to deal with things quite literally by myself and received little to no help from the other management staff; i.e. continually being left as the only manager within the building on weekend nights with minimal training as a manager and no support.
Many of my coworkers also experienced terrible treatment by the management team that was let go in July. Turnover is high in the restaurant industry, due to low wages, lack of benefits and strenuous work. Our turnover rate at BG Cowboy’s Saloon was no exception, especially for front of the house employees, where turnover was frankly astronomical and embarrassing due to the sub-minimum hourly wage, poor working conditions and the reputation acquired by the owner’s failure to pay bills rent and possibly even taxes to the State of New York.
With the potential closing looming over our heads, instead of taking the easier route of calling it quits, leaving my coworkers behind and moving onto a new workplace, I worked extra hard to ensure that not only I had a job, but that my staff did as well. We banded together and collectively worked together to try and better the entire restaurant. For the last month, I was ensured that the restaurant had a future for the coming holiday season, so when I received the message through text on the morning of Saturday September 23, 2017 that our restaurant was indefinitely closing its doors and our “help” that was flown in from Florida was heading straight back to South Beach, I was shocked and outraged. Not only were our jobs non-existent, but so were our paychecks. Our paychecks dated 09/04/2017-09/10/2017 had bounced and we never received payment from 09/11/2017-09/22/2017. I personally am owed $1889.70.
Because of the sudden change, I as well as many of my staff have had to apply for unemployment to receive some sort of repayment for the loss of wages from BG’s. Personally because of this job, I have taken hits to my own bank account by paying out of my own pocket for groceries and supplies for the restaurant because things with vendors soured when the employer failed to pay bills. As a result of going above and beyond, I have been living paycheck to paycheck. When the first paycheck bounced, I was left with $49 in my account and have been forced to live on credit. I, as well as everyone else, has had to scramble to find employment elsewhere. 4 weeks have gone by and we are still not paid for our time on the clock.
It is all too common for people in our industry to be taken advantage of and disrespected. My coworkers and I from BG Cowboy’s Saloon went above and beyond for our employer. We deserve to be paid for the work we performed and to be treated with respect. Please join me in asking Bobby Genovese, the millionaire who owns BG Cowboy’s Saloon and BG Capital Group, to do the right thing and pay us the money we are owed and enter a dialogue about how similar situations at his other establishments can be prevented.