Elephant Bar employees gathered at the restaurant Friday to receive their final paychecks, only to be told they would get them in the mail, said a former waitress.
The 66 former employees of the Elephant Bar in Valencia may have lost their jobs, but the community has stepped up to make sure resources are available to them.
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Some of these employees gathered outside of the restaurant at 2 p.m. on Friday, expecting to receive their final paychecks.
Nichole Goltz, a former Elephant Bar waitress, said she had been told the employees would receive their checks by mail instead.
“It’s not our normal management,” Goltz wanted to point out. “They’re amazing people. I don’t know what’s going on.”
Goltz had received a check in the mail, she said, but had not been compensated for all her hours and had been told another check would be coming.
“I’ve never seen a company do this before,” said Teddy Barnett, an employee who said he’d been with the company for nine years and at the Valencia location for three.
Between 10 and 15 employees had shown up by 2:30 p.m., as a truck loaded kitchen equipment from the back of the restaurant and drove away.
Keri Aaver, director of the Santa Clarita WorkSource Center, was on scene, handing out fliers for an unemployment and job search orientation at 11 a.m. on June 19 at the College of the Canyons University Center.
The workshop is intended specifically for former Elephant Bar employees.
Aaver put together the “rapid response” workshop at the last minute, she said, because she found out about the Elephant Bar closure through the KHTS AM-1220 new story.
She would have known about it sooner had the company filed a WARN Notice, she said.
The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification is required by law, according to Aaver.
“WARN (requires) employers to give affected employees and other state and local representatives notice 60 days in advance of a plant closing or mass layoff,” according to the California Employment Development Department. “Advance notice provides employees and their families some transition time to adjust to the prospective loss of employment, to seek and obtain alternative jobs and, if necessary, to enter skills training or retraining that will allow these employees to successfully compete in the job market.”
Members of The Sanctuary’s young adult group Integrate also came to the Elephant Bar parking lot, handing out coffee and lemonade to the employees.
Real Life Church’s Undergrounds Coffeehouse donated the coffee.
Elephant Bar confirmed on Monday that it would be closing the Valencia location–along with the Burbank, Northridge and Simi Valley locations.
There was “not enough traffic to sustain the business,” said Leslie Liberatore, a spokeswoman for the company.
She initially said that the restaurant would close on Thursday, but employees said that it was shut down by 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The management at the Valencia location called local deputies Tuesday evening, said Deputy Josh Dubin, because they were worried that the employees were becoming unruly and might damage or steal something.
Deputies responded as a precaution at 5:50 p.m. Tuesday but determined that no crime was being committed and left the scene by 6:10 p.m.
They just stood outside the restaurant as a presence, Dubin said.
“Dear Elephant Bar Guests,” read a notice on the front door, “we are sad to inform you that this location will no longer be open for business. It has been our pleasure serving you and being a part of your community.”
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Source: Santa Clarita News