EVERETT — The state Attorney General’s Office wants to make the shuttered Monte Cristo Ballroom pay back employees their allegedly stolen wages.
In a news release Thursday, the state office and the Department of Labor & Industries announced they would file a motion in Snohomish County Superior Court for a default judgment. That would allow the state to take action such as property liens and levies to force the business to pay back more than $12,300 owed to employees.
Located at 1507 Wall St., the historic Monte Cristo Ballroom provided an all-inclusive wedding service, with food, drinks, decorations and even dresses. The venue closed suddenly a year ago, without warning, and without informing customers how they could get their money back.
The owner, Anthony Reeves, was accused of wage theft in a civil lawsuit filed by the state last December. According to the complaint, he deducted a $2.99 meal charge from his employees’ paychecks — allegedly in exchange for allowing them to eat extra food from catered events. But the money was taken without permission and whether or not they had actually eaten any food, the lawsuit says.
“Workers deserve to be paid fairly for their work, period,” state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in a statement. “Employers do not have the right to deduct whatever they want from their employees’ paychecks without their consent.”
In all, 156 employees were affected, according to the lawsuit, and the alleged theft encompasses 4,100 work shifts. Since the venue’s closure, more workers have filed wage complaints with the state, according to the news release.
Zachariah Bryan: 425-339-3431; email@example.com. Twitter: @zachariahtb.