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Hotel employees still waiting to be paid

Hotel employees still waiting to be paid

By Matt Grant. CREATED Dec 22, 2011 - UPDATED: Dec 22, 2011

FORT MYERS - A southwest Florida mother is in need of some cash and some answers.

Julie Slaughter says Mainstay Hotels in Fort Myers owes her $550 and she's not alone. Last month, another worker told us the same thing.

With a baby on the way, and a 4-year-old son, Slaughter took a weekend part-time job at the hotel "to pay for Christmas."

She says her last paycheck was almost a month ago. And her second one was due a week ago.

"I feel hurt," said Slaughter. "But for the people that actually don't have a job but this one they can't even pay their rent."

"Are they giving you any reason why you're not being paid?," asked Fox 4 reporter Matt Grant.

"No," said Slaughter. "Even the general manager says he's not getting paid."

Last month, another employee, John White, told us he and 10 others had been waiting a month to get their paychecks.

"Currently my account is $94 negative," said White on Nov. 15. "Someone else got an eviction notice this month. Someone else got an eviction notice last month. So we're all hurting a little bit."

Fox 4 has tried calling the hotel's corporate office, the Roberts Companies, based out of St. Louis, multiple times over the last month.

Our calls have repeatedly been ignored.

On Thursday we tried calling again. And again we were told neither CEO Michael Roberts, nor the president Steve Roberts, were in.

A secretary told us she's "not allowed" to give out their phone numbers but said she would relay our message.

"It breaks my heart," said Slaughter.

As she struggles to pay down her debt, she says the money she's owed was supposed to get her through the holidays.

Without it, she says she can only afford a few cans of Play-Doh and a Spiderman bottle for her son.

"Even if they came out and said, 'We're sorry we can't pay you,'" said Slaughter. "But no one has said anything. And that's what hurts the most." 

Fox 4 reached out to the parent company of Mainstay Suites, Choice Hotels, along with the Missouri Attorney General's office.

Both say they will look into this.

Matt Grant