Employees at an upscale clothing store in Fashion Valley Mall in San Diego accused the owner of not paying them for a month’s work and, despite repeated attempts, still haven’t received checks.
“Everyone’s checks have been bounced or they haven’t received their pay. We basically worked as slaves for a month and we weren’t paid, ”said an employee who was hired to work at Rein, an equestrian lifestyle clothing store that opened in late November at Fashion Valley.
NBC 7 Responds met with three former employees, all of whom requested to remain anonymous.
“We had to borrow cleaning supplies, a ladder, we relied on the neighbor’s wifi to make the sales,” said one of the employees.
These employees are now speaking out in hopes of preventing others from falling victim to store owner Jelica Baker.
“The fact that she is comfortable with someone’s child not spending Christmas, is forcing someone to live off their car or miss their student loan or car payment, it ‘is a monstrous thing to do, “added one of the former employees.
They said that while they all had suspicions about the store’s legitimacy before it opened in late November, it wasn’t until their first check-up that they realized something was wrong.
“When I first saw this check, I knew it wasn’t real,” an employee said. “The check didn’t have the name of the bank on it. I had to search for the account number to find the name of the bank.
And when they found out the name and location of the bank branch, the three employees all said they were told there were no funds in the account.
“The cashier told me that they didn’t know if the business was legitimate or not, all they could tell me was that there were no funds in the account.”
Now the former workers are speaking out and have since filed complaints with the Department of Labor against the store as well as against store owner Jelica Baker.
NBC 7 Responds has reached out to Baker to ask him about the claims of its former employees. Baker said his lawyers would answer questions, however, after repeated attempts no response was given. Baker confirmed that the store is now closed.
According to the Better Business Bureau website, The Baker Company has already received complaints from several customers who say they never received the items they paid for at the Saddle Shoppe in San Francisco.
For now, employees have said they will wait to hear from the state on how to get their money back. In the meantime, they remain worried that this is not the end.
“She has all of our information, Social Security, W2 … she has everyone’s credit card information, and she has our information, it’s scary.”