"We've been working without pay keeping the store up and going," Dickey's Barbecue Pit Employees Claim to Have Not Been Paid in Weeks
Workers at the Dickey's Barbeque Pit of Erie say they haven't been paid in weeks.
"They owe myself two checks, they owe one of the other managers since October; and the third manger just got paid yesterday for one check, and they owe her second one," said Kristina Cesnick, former assistant manager of the Dickey's Barbecue Pit in Liberty Plaza, who says she is owed over $2000 in wages.
"We've been working without pay keeping the store up and going."
Cesnick says she hasn't gotten an official pay stub from the franchise owners since August. Instead, she was paid with personal checks from the owners, brothers John and Eric Batie - who took over the store in June - until December 5th, when they stopped payments to her.
Cesnick would deposit the personal checks into her own account via an ATM.
"They are personal checks written from their 'personal business accounts,'" said Cesnick. "There's no proof of taxes being taken out or anything. No pay stubs."
Owner John Batie said in a statement over the phone, that this is just an issue with two "disgruntled employees."
He confirmed he did pay Cesnick and other employees with personal checks from his own account, although he admits they were late.
Batie says most money earned from the store goes towards corporate, which is why he payed employees from his personal account.
He also added that Cesnick had been fired, and he was filing a lawsuit against her.
But Cesnick says the lack of pay has been difficult around the holidays.
"It's definitely not fun. Holidays are supposed to be a time for cheer and joy, and instead for us, it's are we gonna get paid or are we gonna hear 'we're working on it again?'"
Erie News Now's Jamison Hixenbaugh does have a relative who works at Dickey's Barbecue Pit, however, Hixenbaugh has not worked on this story due to conflict of interest.
Erie News Now was scheduled to speak with Batie, but Batie canceled the interview, saying in an email he was "advised by corporate to not comment any further on this matter without [a] lawyer present."
Erie News Now has also reached out to Dickey's corporate office, but has not received a response as of the time of writing.
We'll continue to update you as this story develops.