After the sudden shutter of all eateries under the Here to Serve Restaurants umbrella, a group of the company's former employees is suing for back pay. More than 75 former Here to Serve workers have filed a federal lawsuit, reports the Atlanta Business Chronicle, which aims to secure overdue paychecks that were supposed to be distributed last Friday, October 2.
The company has reportedly handed out some partial paychecks at one of its restaurants, and plans to distribute more at another in the coming days. As Here to Serve ceased operations, president and CEO Leigh Catherall sent an email to employees asking them to "please accept our apology for the grave inconvenience of late paychecks this week." The lawsuit will go forward even if all employees are paid in full because they were not given 60 days notice of the shutters, according to 11 Alive.
On Here to Serve's website, a statement still reads, "We apologize for the inconvenience, we are working on reorganization. Hopefully we will be here to serve you again soon!" The company, founded by retired local chef Tom Catherall, ex-husband to Leigh, may be facing issues related to a recent lawsuit regarding leasing agreements. Leigh Catherall took control of her former husband's company as part of their divorce settlement last year.
While the company's former employees look for new jobs, The Giving Kitchen has set up a separate fund to provide assistance.
Update: October 9, 4:40 p.m. Despite the statement on Here to Serve's website, the restaurant group will not reopen any of its businesses, 11 Alive reports.