Restaurant owes former waiter past wages

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SCOTTSDALE -- A college student says he's having a hard time getting paid by his former employer so he contacted 3 On Your Side for help.

The amount we're talking about is $312 and for Justin Martin, that's a lot of money.

Martin is in college and pinches pennies just to make ends meet so $312 sure could come in handy.

"I'm a broke, starving college student," he said.

So in order to support himself, Martin says he started working as a waiter at a restaurant called Bada Boom Pasta Room in Scottsdale.

"I was a server there," Martin said. "I worked there for a few months and new owners came in and they kinda cleaned house."

And when that happened, Martin was out of a job, but he was also out something else.

"Everyone else got paid other than myself," he said.

That's right, Martin says Bada Boom Pasta Room still owed him about $300.

"I went in pretty much every single day for a month," he said.

And when he still couldn't get his money, he contacted the state's Labor Department, which according to documents obtained by 3 On Your Side, ruled that "wages are owed" to Martin.

And get this, because Bada Boom Pasta Room didn't respond, the Labor Department says Martin is entitled to three times what he is owed, meaning the restaurant now has to pay him $912.

"They were making me work for free," he said.

3 On Your Side went to Bada Boom Pasta Room in Scottsdale, but the doors were locked. We did speak with one of Bada Boom's managing partners who said he was unaware of Martin's situation or his complaint to the Labor Department.

As a result, he tells 3 On Your Side that Martin will get paid.

For Martin that's great news because he says he has a lot of things to put that money toward, such as gas, books and food.

Bada Boom is closed down temporarily because of the slow summer months and is supposed to reopen in October.

As for the restaurant's managing partner we spoke with, he tells us he will pay Martin the $300 that they owe him, but they refuse to pay the $900 ordered by the Labor Board.

We'll see what happens.