A week after laying off nearly its entire workforce, McMenamins has delayed giving employees their final paychecks "until at least next Wednesday," according to an email the company sent to staff and obtained by WW.
On March 17, the Portland hospitality chain, which owns pubs, hotels, movie theaters and music venues in Oregon and Washington, announced it was letting go of 3,000 employees—"almost everyone at the company," according to a press release—in the wake of Gov. Kate Brown's order to close every bar and restaurant in the state as a means of stemming the spread of the coronavirus.
Employees were supposed to receive their last checks today. Yesterday afternoon, however, workers were alerted via email that payroll would be deferring payment by another five days.
"Saying we're sorry we know isn't enough," the company wrote, "but please know that we are sorry beyond words for this delay."
No reason for the delay was given. The company did ask employees who received printed checks not to cash them.
“We know how deeply this delay is impacting you and your family during this extremely trying time and we are doing everything we can to get this nailed down next week and to get payroll into your accounts as quickly as we possibly can,” the email says. “If you receive a check in the mail, we ask that you please wait until at least Wednesday to cash it.”
In a statement, McMenamins says it is "doing everything we can to work through these issues as quickly as possible."
"Like so many businesses, we at McMenamins are reaching our limit as the pandemic continues," the statement says. "We will be paying all of our employees and will continue to pay the benefits of our temporarily laid off staff."
The only McMenamins property that hasn't fully closed is its bottle shop in Northwest Portland, although Edgefield, in Troutdale, has started filling takeout orders for beer, wine and cider.
The email goes on to tell employees to watch the company's social media channels for information on when its venues might reopen.