Cigar Bar Closes, Employees Not Paid

Several employees of a now-closed Omaha cigar bar are fuming, saying the owner owes them back pay.

Cigarros employees who came to 132nd and Maple to see about their paychecks found a sign saying "closed for maintenance," but they wonder if that's a smoke screen. “I think it’s closed because she can't afford to pay anyone.”

The workers say they’re owed several hundred dollars each for hours worked. “It’s very important because I haven't been able to pay my rent.”

“I'm completely missing a paycheck from when I started here in January,” said another employee.

The employees are concerned about more than just unpaid wages, they're worried the owner didn't maintain records. The employees say they didn't fill out W-4 forms or sign a waiver acknowledging they work in a smoky environment.

The workers asked that their names not be used while they look for new jobs. All have families to help support. “I just want things reviewed and ultimately come out that everyone gets what they deserve.”

“I have a lot of questions about how I'm going to get paid or compensated for my time.”

The owner sent workers a text, which an employee read. “I can't open until everything is made legal, your pay being one of the issues.”

The unpaid employees hope the owner can clear the air on those issues soon because they need their pay checks. Fact Finders left several messages with the owner of Cigarros, but so far no response. The workers are filing a complaint with the Nebraska Department of Labor.

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