In 2011, the staff of Ruggles, a restaurant in Houston, Texas, walked out and shut down the restaurant alleging non-payment of tips from management.
Jermiah Villarreal, who worked at the restaurant, told the Houston Press, â€śHalf the time we got [paid] it was just out of desperation. We were fed up and upset and complaining that we had no money for our bills and needed it.â€ť
Ruggles owner Bruce Molzan said after going through payroll records, he discovered he owed his waitstaff around $14,000 to $15,000 in back wages, and promised to pay this amount in full.
A group of 25 protestors, mostly former Ruggles workers who still have yet to receive their back pay have been picketing Bruce Molzanâ€™s new restaurant, Corner Table. Molzan sent pizzas out to the protesters as a peace offering because he didnâ€™t want the scene to turn â€śugly.” Protestors rejected the pies and began chanting: â€śNo food; pay me!â€ť in response to the free pies.
Molzan has a long track record of fighting with employees over unpaid wages. He told the Houston Chronicle that a manager was responsible for withholding payments. He also accused the manager in a lawsuit of stealing cash and deleting computer files. The manager, James Wray, denied the allegation and said he was never allowed to pay waiters without Molzanâ€™s approval.
Source: Houston Press