Bikini baristas claim bosses not paying them for work

15 baristas from Washington, Idaho file claims with L& I

SPOKANE - Local bikini baristas have been busy serving up lattes now say they?re not getting paid a cent for their services and are filing grievances with the Department of Labor and Industries.

The owners of the Pretty in Pink espresso stand in Spokane near the intersection of Sprague and Bowdish also own espresso stands in Post Falls and two in Western Washington. The espresso stands all have two three things in common: The girls who work there wear bikinis, the girls say they aren?t getting paid, and formal claims have been filed against the espresso stands? owners.

Fifteen former employees of the bikini espresso stands have filed formal wage claims with Labor and Industries saying they were never paid for their work.

?They were unprofessional,? former barista Amanda Emerson said. ?The first day I showed up I didn't even know it was a bikini espresso stand.?

Emerson started work at Pretty in Pink back in August. Eventually she found the correct attire and started work. She was supposed to get paid every two weeks but after four weeks of work she still had not been paid and so Emerson started calling the owners.

?If I called them they didn't really answer their phones,? she said.

However when they did answer their phones Emerson said, ?They?re like ?OK we'll send the paycheck?', I gave them my address and like two weeks later I said 'Where's my paycheck I never got in the mail' and they said we sent it to you.?

?It was just that over and over again, or I couldn't get a hold of them, or different lies.?

After weeks of no pay Amanda Emerson eventually quit.

?I felt kinda bad about it, but after a while I heard about other girls not getting paid also,? she said.

Labor and Industries reports that 8 former bikini baristas at the Pretty in Pink espresso stands in Spokane and Post Falls have filed formal wage complaints against the owners with amounts ranging from $150 up to $1,600.

Those complaints are in addition to 7 additional wage complaints from the same owners' espresso stands in western Washington.

The complaints about not getting paid aren?t restricted just to former employees; current employees aren?t getting paid either.

Brandi Zutter works as a barista for the Pretty in Pink espresso stand in Post Falls and she says that so far she should have received two paychecks for her work. Instead she?s received about half of one paycheck.

?I was like that's not my full check, and they said, that's all we have for you,? Brandi said. ?I like working here. It?s just the paychecks are bad.?

The owners of the stands are a mother and daughter by the names of Dana and Danielle Jacobsen. Repeated attempts were made to contact them for the opportunity to respond to the claims made by their employees.

The pair was seen Thursday at their Spokane espresso stand. When contacted for comment the pair went inside their espresso stand, refused to answer the door after setting a deadbolt lock and one of them put her back against the window and refused to respond.