Reporting Ron Jones
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Some employees who worked at a midtown Sacramento restaurant lashed out after learning the business was closing and wouldn’t have enough money to give workers their last paycheck.
Co-owners Joseph Madrid and James Lombardi laid off all their staff Monday after problems with the IRS came to a head, forcing them to shut down their restaurant.
“Times are tough, business is down, it’s a struggle out there,” Madrid said. “It came down to taxes.”
The business owes more than a half million dollars in back taxes and doesn’t have enough money to continue operating, the owners said. They also don’t have enough money to pay their former employees about a week’s worth of wages.
Madrid and Lombardi threw an employee-only party Monday to give away the last food and drink, but the farewell party turned tense when workers realized they wouldn’t be paid.
“We’re pissed,” said former employee Raven Russell. “My family is going to suffer majorly from it.”
Some employees started trashing the business and grabbing what valuables they could find, while others raided the refrigerator for what was left of the restaurant’s beer and food.
“The arguments got heated because I’m sitting here, going, ‘I don’t know what to tell you. There is no more money,’” Lombardi said.
One enraged worker even pulled a knife out, but nobody was injured.
“I’m not looking for any sympathy and I don’t think James is either,” Madrid said. “It is what it is.”
Some disgruntled employees say they plan on reporting the business owners to the California Department of Industrial Relations.