Press Release

Attorney General Ellison asks Bartmann Hospitality, Inc. to reply to reports of withheld wages and gratuities

Also offers guidance to workers whose wages have been withheld after a COVID-19 layoff or termination

March 27, 2020 (SAINT PAUL) — Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office has asked Bartmann Hospitality, Inc., the owner of six restaurants in Minneapolis, to reply to public reports that it has withheld wages and gratuities owed to employees who were recently laid off because of the COVID-19 crisis. In a letter to owner Kim Bartmann, attached here, the Office has asked for a reply by April 3 with the names of all employees and the restaurant where they worked, and for each employee, the amount of unpaid wages, the amount of accrued but unused paid time off, and the amount of accrued but unused sick leave. The Office has also asked for other relevant financial information from the business.

“Minnesota workers and small-business owners are both having a tough time affording their lives right now, especially in the hospitality industry that is such an important part of Minnesota’s economy and culture. But even in this tough time, it’s still not legal to withhold wages that employees have earned,” Attorney General Ellison said. “Now more than ever, my office is here to help everyone, including workers and business owners, afford their lives, get through this crisis, and live with dignity and respect.”

What you should do if your wages have been withheld after a COVID-19-related layoff

If your employer lays you off or terminates you because of COVID-19, you are still entitled to the wages you had already earned; your employer isn’t entitled to refuse to pay you for any reason. If this happens, you can write your employer to demand your wages. You can also contact the Attorney General’s Office or the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, particularly if your employer has refused to pay you earned wages after you have requested them.