Workers at The Carlton say they aren’t getting paid

Despite major cash flow troubles and the potential of losing much of his holdings to foreclosure, businessman David Weyrich has kept open his hotels Villa Toscana in Paso Robles and The Carlton in Atascadero.

But some of his workers say the Paso Robles businessman is doing it at their expense. As of the middle of January, at least 18 wage claims had been filed against The Carlton, triggering a state Department of Industrial Relations investigation into his management, according to a spokeswoman with the agency.

Complaints range from employees not being paid weekly wages to being given bad checks that triggered hundreds of dollars of bank fees, according to documents filed with the state’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.

Properties under the Martin Weyrich Winery LLC, including Villa Toscana, are being foreclosed on and are set for public auction Monday because of defaulted loans amounting to more than $20 million, according to documents filed with the county.

The Carlton is not facing foreclosure, though it, too, is in financial trouble.

According to its lender, RE Loans, the property has tens of millions of dollars worth of liens that Weyrich has defaulted on.

That property — which was assessed by the county at nearly $14 million for property-tax purposes — also has $451,865 in current and back property taxes due to the county.

The Carlton’s general manager, Deana Alexander, said employees are not being paid on a regular basis and she has been given the difficult task of choosing whom she should pay on any given day.

“Everything this hotel makes goes to the employees,” she said. “But unfortunately we’re not making enough.”

Alexander said she has not been paid for more than three weeks, but she is staying on behalf of the other employees.

She laid off about a dozen people Jan. 4 and refuses to hire more until the hotel’s financial difficulties get straightened out, she said. About 45 employees still work at the hotel as part of the restaurant, housekeeping and management staff, she said.

State inspectors issued a $60,000 citation against The Carlton on Oct. 14, alleging the hotel did not have workers’ compensation insurance. Weyrich reinstated the insurance but has not paid the fine, and the case is being forwarded to a state collections department, said Krisann Chasarik, spokeswoman for the Department of Industrial Relations.

At the Villa Toscana, none of the bed-and-breakfast inn’s employees’ have filed complaints with the state, according to agency representatives.