by: Amy Napier Viteri Updated:
SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. - Former employees of a Sandy Springs restaurant that closed its doors late last year have filed a lawsuit after they say they worked months without pay.
People who worked at Tailfeathers Restaurant and Piano Bar said they filed small claims suits to get months of back wages.
"If people put in their time and their hard work and effort they should be compensated for that," Andre Hill told Channel 2's Amy Napier Viteri.
Hill was the restaurant's brand manager for more than a year leading up to its opening.
He promoted special events and appearances, but said owner Stantisha Kemp only paid him for two months of work. Chris Mitchell said he was executive chef at Tailfeathers from July until December when the restaurant closed. In that time Mitchell said he received one paycheck.
"She would pay the bands, she would pay the door hosts, she would pay everybody else," Mitchell said.
He said Kemp promised payment was coming. Instead, Mitchell said he fell behind on bills and eventually got evicted from his apartment.
"This was supposed to be my livelihood right here. However, I never got paid. I used through my savings while I was working here now I have absolutely nothing,” Mitchell said.
Viteri reached Kemp by phone and she said the restaurant went through financial hardship and acknowledged owing employees back wages. She said she doesn't have the money but hopes to pay them next month.
Mitchell and Hill said Kemp has other means of income, including an accounting company, and should have paid them by now.
According to the Department of Labor, their wage and hour division did have a conciliation case at Tailfeathers in September which is typically a complaint involving paychecks.