Portland Restaurant Abruptly Closes, Allegedly Still Owes Employees Thousands
Pockets, Portland's only 24 hour sandwich abruptly closed and left its employees without thousands of dollars of back wages.
According to the Bangor Daily News, Portland restaurant Pockets closed its doors suddenly earlier this month and left numerous employees without thousands in wages. The apparent wage theft left several of those employees without money to pay for basic necessities and in some cases, left them homeless.
Pockets, which was located at 363 Fore Street is now listed as being up for lease. The same building previously housed Orange Leaf frozen yogurt amongst other business in the past few years. The restaurant page for Pockets is still up on Facebook.
Several employees were hired through Craigslist ads that promised wages between $9-$11 per hour. Some employees quit their other jobs in order to work at Pockets and make more money. As the Bangor Daily News reports, one of those employees, Jeremiah Baker says that he's owed at least $1,500 in lost wages and because he was never paid, he now spends his nights in a shelter trying to get back on his feet.
Attorneys and activists are now working on behalf of the employees who feel helpless about the situation. Lawyers warn that in cases like this, it's unusual to see employees payed the past wages that they are owed after a business closes. However, there is a fund the Maine Department of Labor can dip into to help workers get back on their feet.