Galveston restaurant managers claim wrongful termination

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Sep. 22, 2010, 3:23am

GALVESTON - Two California transplants to Galveston County claim they were wrongfully terminated last month from their positions as managers of a restaurant and bar in Galveston, recent court documents say.

Shawn Slater and Briana Hilton claim they were underpaid and ultimately fired despite clean performance records. They filed suit against West End Marina Inc., John Turner and Randall Pettit on Sept. 9 in Galveston County District Court.

Slater and Hilton say defendant Turner, president of West End Marina, contacted them about moving to Galveston from Huntington Beach, Calif., and running one of the company's establishments.

The plaintiffs were each offered an annual starting salary of $75,000, including $2,500 for moving expenses, a $12,500 salary advance and a rent-free, all-utilities-paid apartment for a year, the original petition explains.

Slater and Hilton accepted the package and started working for West End Marina in May.

According to the complaint, they performed services consistent with their written agreement from May 1 to Aug. 8, the alleged date of their dismissal.

"At no time during this time period did any representative of WEM complain to the plaintiffs orally or in writing that their services were unsatisfactory or not within industry standards," the suit says.

The plaintiffs state they were terminated and not paid their previous weeks' salary and have not received the funds to this day.

Consequently, Slater and Hilton seek at least $100,000 in monetary damages as well as a jury trial.

Attorneys Alan N. Magenheim of Houston and Edward S. Orchon of Santa Clarita, Calif., are representing the plaintiffs.

Galveston County 10th District Court Judge David Garner is presiding over the case.

Case No. 10-cv-2749

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