Rosie's Diner employees say they have not been paid for their final two work weeks at the business.
Rosie's Diner, Algoma Township, closed since Oct. 2.
ALGOMA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) - Workers at Rosie's Diner near Rockford say they have not only lost their jobs -- they say owner Jonelle Woods is not giving them their final paychecks.
"They said nobody was going to get paid," says former cook James Putnam.
"She says there is no money," says former Rosie's manger Rebecca Kompstra.
The famous diner where Bounty paper towel commercials were once filmed closed on October 2, with a sign on the door saying the business was under renovation. Initially, the owner said the restaurant would close for two days while kitchen improvements were completed.
Employees say they were surprised to find the locks changed and restaurant equipment and furniture removed when they reported for work.
"We had no clue at all," says Putnam.
"When I came in everything was gone," says Kompstra. "She had taken our all of the memorabilia, all the keepsakes, all of the restaurant equipment."
Now about 30 full- and part-time employees are trying to get paid.
"My average wage -- two weeks take home -- is $650 to $700," says Putnam.
"She said there is no money to give. I said it's not giving it's owed, that she owed that money to us," says Kompstra. "She said there is no money."
Many of the employees at the diner are teenagers. They work after-school to earn spending money and college tuition.
"They do backbreaking work," explains Kompstra. "They come here after-school and work four or five hours. They work all weekend and she is willing to walk away and not pay them for their hard work."
"I feel kind of hurt by the whole thing," says Putnam." I really wish she would have at least had the courtesy to tell me she doesn't have the money. Myself and all the workers here at Rosie's Diner gave it our all."
The paychecks for Rosie's Diner come Woodcock Diner LLC in Bloomfield Hills. The company is owned by Jonelle Woods' father, Jon Woods.
Calls from 13 On Your Side to ask about paychecks for Rosie's employees were not returned.