Former restaurant employees still waiting for paychecks

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PHOENIX -- It was bad enough when two Valley restaurants unexpectedly closed their doors, leaving some workers out of a job. But the problems have continued for some McCormick and Schmick's employees who are still waiting for their final paychecks.

The restaurant chain was purchased by Landry's, a company that owns and operates a number of restaurants like Claim Jumper, Bubba Gump and Rusty Pelican.

Amanda LaCosse worked at McCormick and Schmick's for seven months when she walked into the restaurant on Jan. 3 and was told it was closing down.

The server was told she would get a paycheck in the mail on the 7th. It was being overnighted to her.

"Yesterday was the 11th and we hadn't gotten anything," she said. "Most of us have families, we are students. It's just not right."

An Arizona State University student and former McCormick and Schmick's employee says she barely has enough money for gas as she works to find another job.

She's owed for five days of work.

"It's really not that much because I only make $4.35 an hour, but it's the principal of it," Holly Taylor said. "It makes me feel like I don't matter, like myself and all my co-workers are just peons in a huge corporate system and it's profits above people."

Randall Maruca with the Arizona Department of Labor says those employees have two options.

"They can go into civil court and attempt to recover three times the amount of the unpaid wages," he said.  "Probably the most practical thing for them to do is come to our office, file a claim for unpaid wages."