El Rey on K Owes Thousands in Back Pay, According to California Labor Commission

SACRAMENTO -- Several former employees and some current ones as well, say that a popular downtown restaurant and night club, El Rey on K, has not been paying some of its employees for months.

El Rey is owned by former Sacramento Kings player Kenny Thomas.

FOX40 verified with the California Labor Commissioner's Office Friday that there are two claims open against El Rey on K totaling more than $47,000 in unpaid wages.

FOX40 reached out to Thomas several times Friday evening. His lawyer finally called back only to say they would have no comment at this time.

El Rey on K opened in October of 2016 with high hopes and is just a stones-throw away from the new arena.

But now, a little more than two years after its opening, there are several allegations of employees not being paid.

“There are a lot of people who have quit, and they quit because they were not getting paid. It's hit and miss with who they pay,” said the former executive chef, who doesn’t want to be identified.

The former chef worked for four months during 2018.

She said there was always an issue with being paid by the establishment.

“You'd get a text message, drop off some money to you. It was never all of what you were owed. It was just enough to tie you over,” she said.

In her claim, which was heard this week and continued to later this year, there are charges of her working seven days a week for 60, 70 or 80 hours.

And she says she wasn't the only one.

“It was just every other day something would happen, somebody would quit, somebody would get mad because they had to pay rent. They needed their money or… It was just sad,” the former El Rey chef said.

Friday night, El Rey on K was closed but, another employee who stopped by also looking for his paycheck had something to say.

“Right now, why do you think I’m here? I'm trying to get paid, man,” the former El Rey employee, who also chose to remain anonymous, said. “I just want to be made whole, just like anybody else who worked there wants to be made whole. I mean pay us what you owe us and that's it.”

Thomas’ lawyer said Kenny took over sole responsibility of the establishment in February of 2018. Thomas had two other partners in the beginning. The attorney did not want to comment further on any of the allegations.

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