BRIEF: Labor Department Seeks Reimbursement of Unemployment Benefits to Restaurant Employees

JCT Kitchen and Bar employee hung up to dry

Photo credit: Courtesy of JCT Kitchen

JCT Kitchen is now closed

A former employee of one of Atlanta’s high-end restaurants says she is obligated to repay the Georgia Department of Labor nearly $28,000 in claims for benefits that were filed in error by her employer. Kacey Carelson, who last year worked as manager of Chef Ford Fry’s now-closed JCT Kitchen and Bar, says she is “baffled by the whole situation” and that the request represents half a year’s salary. She appealed and asked for a debt forgiveness waiver, but received no response, saying parent company Rocket Farm is not communicating. “It’s intimidating, it’s nerve-wracking. The number of nights I’ve lost sleep, I’ve been freaking out about how I’m going to pay that back,” Carelson said. Rocket Farm says it has submitted revised tax returns for several employees and will pay penalties and interest resulting from inaccurate salary reports. .

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