LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A bartender robbed at gunpoint who said he was forced to pay back the thousands of dollars stolen filed a lawsuit Tuesday against his former employer.
Video of the incident obtained by the 8 News Now I-Team shows an armed man coming into The Lodge at Hualapai on the morning of Dec. 4, 2020. Edward Parker, 42, was working at the bar when the robber demanded money.
Parker, holding his hands in the air, gives the armed man money from the register and cash sitting on the bar, the video showed. The business is on Hualapai Way near Desert Inn Road in Summerlin.
“It’s December 2020. We’re in the middle of COVID,” Parker said. “People are fighting for jobs left and right. I suppose I let the idea of having a steady job with steady income cloud my judgment.”
Hours after handing over $3,900, Parker said management at The Lodge told him he had to pay the money back, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday.
“I wasn’t thinking right,” Parker said. “I just had a gun shoved in my face and I signed the document.”
The signed contract said $300 would come out of Parker’s paycheck until the full amount, $3,937.35, was paid off.
“What’s the time between when you were robbed and when you signed that document?” the I-Team’s David Charns asked Parker.
“Three-to-4 hours, tops,” he said.
Parker is now living out of state. His attorneys, Sam Mirejovsky and Amanda Brookhyser said The Lodge coerced Parker to sign the contract and work under unfair conditions after having been the victim of a crime.
“It’s a demand for repayment, for money that was taken from him,” Mirejovsky said. “It’s the most outrageous thing I’ve ever seen and it’s not right.”
“He allowed this armed assailant to come in, do what he was threatening to do, and leave without getting himself hurt or without getting the patrons hurt,” Brookhyser said. “He did everything right. His employer did everything wrong.”
After paying the money back in the summer of 2021, Parker said he was fired after taking a pre-approved vacation. The lawsuit said managers approved the vacation that spring but then changed their vacation policy.
“I was devasted,” Parker said. “I loved that company. I worked very hard for them. I couldn’t believe they had done this to me.”
Parker said he hoped the lawsuit proves no employee is too small and that business owners, particularly in the restaurant industry, will be held accountable.
“I’m hoping to show them that I can lead by example and if you guys have problems with employers, don’t be afraid to speak up,” Parker said. “You’re not alone out there.”
Police charged the armed robber, later identified as Jack McLaughlin, 43, in a string of armed robberies from September to December of 2020.
The Labor Commission facilitated a settlement with Parker and The Lodge for $5,500, a spokesperson confirmed, but Mirejovsky said Parker did not accept it.
8 News Now reached out to The Lodge and did not receive a response.