Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Midlands workers who said their employer owes them money say they now can breathe a bit easier.
Employees working at various restaurants managed by Perkins Management Services said they received bad checks.
After their story aired Thursday night, some of the workers have been able to cash their checks.
Azaria Arnold worked at the Perkins’ operated Burger King on Benedict College’s campus.
Arnold said she was able to cash her two-week old check Friday but still had not received the check she was supposed to get on Monday.
“That's a violation of the wage payment act so just giving someone a check on that date doesn't fulfill the employer's obligation, the check has to be good,” Employment and Labor lawyer Malissa Burnette explained.
Burnette said it is against the law for an employer to not pay their employee on the days they said they would.
The lawyer said these employees can take Perkins to court and get three times what they are owed.
“An employee who receives a check that's not good can actually go to a magistrate and have the person prosecuted, have the issuer prosecuted for a misdemeanor and the bigger the check, the harsher the penalty both the fine and imprisonment,” Burnette said.
Burnette said the employee can also be refunded attorney’s fees and costs.
Even if the business is closed or bankrupt, a worker is supposed to get their money.
“You can get double what is owed to you,” Burnette said about employees not getting overtime.
Perkins Management Services still has not offered a comment on the issue.
The company is based in Charlotte but operates multiple restaurants in the Midlands.
Perkins manages dining services at Benedict College.
Perkins operates Burger Kings in Columbia, Orangeburg and Lexington. As it stands now, none of these Burger Kings are currently operating.
Last month, the business was evicted from their Columbia location at Columbiana Mall.
The Department of Revenue says that all of Perkins’ retail licenses are still open and that Perkins has not reported any business closing to the department.
Last year, Perkins was in trouble with the state of North Carolina for not paying 11 employees overtime wages, in an amount just over $2000.
The Department of Labor has received complaints about the company and is currently investigating the issue.
The Department of Labor asks all employees who are having employer issues to file a complaint.
To do that, please visit: https://eservice.llr.sc.gov/Complaints/