Colortree employees frustrated by abrupt closure, lack of paycheck

Published: Jun. 7, 2019 at 7:09 PM EDT
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HENRICO, VA. (WWBT) - Employees at an envelope print and manufacturing plant are demanding answers after the company abruptly closed its doors this week and did not pay their employees Friday.

Jon Haalboom, a now former employee at Colortree, said he and more than 230 other employees were told to pack their things and leave Monday afternoon.

A Henrico police officer was stationed in front of the building was the only car in the business’ parking lot Friday.

The officer said managers for the company were on-site, but messages to those same managers about the abrupt closure and lack of pay were not immediately returned.

"You owe it to 240 employees to at least say I'm sorry for really screwing you over," Haalboom said.

Colortree employees say they weren't paid Friday following the company's abrupt closure Monday...
Colortree employees say they weren't paid Friday following the company's abrupt closure Monday (Source: NBC12)(NBC12)

It’s been a frustrating five days for Haalbroom. He and the other employees got the news of the closure at a spontaneous meeting Monday afternoon.

“They shut all the machines down, all the departments, brought us into one room,” Hallboom said. “They had a line to where you could call in and listen to it and it was a matter of 10 minutes. That was it.”

September would have been marked 11 years with the company Haalboom. His work and dedication over the years wrapped up in a matter of minutes.

“No warning, no nothing,” he said. “Y’all keep telling us that it’s OK - no problem.”

The frustration didn’t end there. Haalboom was supposed to receive a paycheck Friday, but when he checked his bank account, it had not deposited.

“We get paid every other week, and it should have been in the bank this morning at 5 o’clock - nothing,” he said.

Another employee at the company emailed the chief operations officer Friday morning about the pay issue.

NBC12 obtained a copy of the email response saying, “We were made aware this morning that the payroll funding from the bank did not meet the timing deadline and therefore did not transfer into employee accounts.”

The email said the issue should be fixed early next week.

“So now I have to try and take care of my end of the bills and my 11-year-old daughter with no income,” Haalboom said. “Unemployment, they only pay a small percentage of what I would be getting paid, and I can’t even get that.”

A later email to NBC12 from an address linked to Colortree said the money should deposited Monday.

“Colortree finalized agreements with its lender and confirmed payroll was funded this afternoon,” email said. "Employees should expect their earnings will be in their bank accounts on Monday. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience.”

Several messages sent this week to the president and chief operations officer of Colortree were not immediately returned.

Haalboom like many of the other employees have been searching for new jobs since they were sent home Monday, but what they really want are answers.

“It’s not what I deserve,” Haalboom said. “It’s not what I expected, especially when I was told you have nothing to worry about. 'It’s just a rough patch, this is just our slow time of the year’ and here I am.”

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