Workforce Solutions offering help to recently unemployed restaur - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Workforce Solutions offering help to recently unemployed restaurant workers

Workforce Solutions of the South Plains (source: KCBD video) Workforce Solutions of the South Plains (source: KCBD video)
Employees can pick up a Wage Claim form at Workforce Solutions, to then be sent to the Texas Workforce Commission (source: KCBD video) Employees can pick up a Wage Claim form at Workforce Solutions, to then be sent to the Texas Workforce Commission (source: KCBD video)
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

In the last week, we've learned of the closure of many restaurants here in Lubbock.

Not only both locations of Ruby Tequila's and Twisted Spigot across from Jones Stadium, but also Rib Crib, Dickey's BBQ on 98th Street and Cowboy Chicken.

Now those employees are suddenly left without a job and a paycheck.

One place they can turn to for some help is Workforce Solutions of the South Plains, which is funded by the Texas Workforce Commission.

In the case of the employees at Ruby Tequila's, many of them say they are still owed a paycheck for at least three weeks of work.

At Workforce Solutions, these employees can get what is called a Wage Claim form that Workforce Solutions can send to the Texas Workforce Commission in Austin.

The claims have to be filed by the employee within 180 days.

"And we'll take the claims here, they'll be forwarded to Austin, or they can be mailed directly to Austin. Then the follow up will be from the Austin based unit, and then they'll work with the employer and the person that the money is owed to. And at some point if necessary they can initiate legal proceedings," Workforce Solutions South Plains CEO Martin Aguirre said.

Aguirre says a specific unit of the Texas Workforce Commission in Austin deals with these Payday Law claims.

They will try to work with the employer as the first step in the investigation.

"Follow up with the company itself as to why these people haven't been paid and actually can say you know, this is what the law says you're supposed to pay at the next regular scheduled pay date. They don't have to pay you the day they let you go but they've got to pay you the next regular scheduled pay day," he said.

Aguirre says for any of these former restaurant employees simply looking for a new job, they can start a profile at workintexas.com.

RELATED LINK: Start a profile at Workforce Solutions

The Workforce Solutions Center in downtown Lubbock is a free resource to begin that search.

Their office is open Monday through Friday until 5 p.m., located at 1218 14th St.

"We have about 40 employees over there that do job counseling, different programs, different activities all in assisting worker seek other employment," Aguirre said.

He says his best advice for the employees who are still awaiting paychecks, is to actively look for a job while waiting on their unclaimed wages.

"The longer you are away from employment, the harder it gets to get re-employed. So you know, don't put off looking for the job, for the next job...these people that are coming from some of these restaurants that are closing it was no fault of their own. They should take heart that as long as they're good workers, that there will be available opportunities for them elsewhere," Aguirre said.

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