St. Charles Co. business locks out employees without notice - KMOV.com

St. Charles Co. business locks out employees without notice

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Workers collected in the parking lot. (Credit: KMOV) Workers collected in the parking lot. (Credit: KMOV)
ST. CHARLES COUNTY (KMOV.com) -

The front doors at Direct One Marketing were locked when workers showed up Friday morning after employees received a text saying the business was closed.

Many had received a text before 7 a.m. from a manager that said, "I have been informed that effective immediately Discount Auto is no more and as a result we have all been relieved of our duties."

Kevin Dunn says he's been dedicated to the company for three years.

“I show up every day,” Dunn said. “I'm just absolutely blown away.”

Phyllis Wall, another employee, agreed.

“It's below scum,” Wall said. “You have people who are devoted. I've been there two years every day. Never thought they would have done this.”

Janet Morgan says she had worked there for more than seven months. She says the company now owes her for at least three weeks of work.

“This is our lives,” Morgan said. “We live pay check to paycheck here. Not like we get paid a lot of money. For a lot of us this is really going to break us.”

But it's not just the paycheck they're concerned about. Some employees say they're worried health insurance they paid for with the company may not be valid.

“They gave us paperwork as if we were getting health insurance,” Larry Henderson said. “Filled out whoever wanted health insurance, but when it came time to get the cards there were no cards.”

Employees say the company is owned by Jake Ehlinger. They say he posted a four-minute video on Youtube. Employees say he was incoherent in the video.

“Only you can make you better. Peace and love, harmony,” Ehlinger says in the video.

One worker told News 4 that for nearly a year, money that was supposed to go toward child support payments has been withheld from her check.

“I've been having $169 garnished out of my wages every paycheck,” Tamitha Mckay said. “Recently noticed on my credit report it shows I’m behind and not making payments but on my checks it's reflecting I am making those payments. So where's that money right now? I don't know. It's not with the state like it's supposed to be.”

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