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Employees of Loveland restaurant seek answers for unemployment inaccuracies

Posted at 8:41 PM, Apr 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-16 18:15:01-04

Three former employees of Origin's Wood Fired Pizza in Loveland are speaking out after identifying what they say are major flaws in their wage reporting while applying for unemployment.

"I’ve had to move in with my brother. I cannot pay bills. My credit score has gone down. I have had bills go into collections" said Samantha Sheehan who used to work at the restaurant. "For me it’s just really hard to sit back and not take advantage of aid that has been offered to us as laid off employees."

Samantha, along with her sister Gillyan Sheehan, and coworker Katie Crossley, were laid off in March after the statewide shutdown from coronavirus.

After weeks of waiting to gain access to unemployment benefits, Denver7 discovered that while their employer was up to date on his unemployment insurance premiums, he had failed to submit all of the state’s required, quarterly wage reports. As a result, their W-2 tax forms showed they had made $0.00. It took another 6 weeks for the three to prove their incomes to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

"I’m led to believe that something not right is happening," explained Samantha Sheehan, who said she has waited for a resolution from her employer for weeks.

"I filled out my form to correct the wages and from there still nothing has changed. I filed on March 15," she said, saying she has reached out to her former employer several times with little resolve. "He just constantly tells us just hang in there be patient. But from there, what can I do?"

The owner of the restaurant told Denver 7 he has not misrepresented any wages and filed properly, pointing the blame to the state. A representative from CDLE confirmed that the employer did not file all wage reports for the women.

"If the forms that he filled out show zero dollars for wages, then the glitch is his fault," explained attorney Ira Sanders. "Then he has to rectify the mistake, go to his records and report all of these employee’s wages to the state.”

CDLE says the owner of Origins did eventually file the missing wage reports, but the correction did not happen until June 8th.

The employees say the damage is done.

"There’s just such a break in trust with the system and with the people that I’ve worked for, said Crossley. "I’m disappointed."

This story has been updated by the author from its original version.