Clean City Cleaners in Harlingen buzzed with business Thursday.
Employee Mary De La Fuente was not working.
She said she won't work until she gets paid.
"It's been three and a half weeks that he has not paid us, said De La Fuente. I want my pay for my Christmas.
I want to have a Christmas for my kids."
De La Fuente told Action 4 News laundromat owner Marvin Payton is withholding hundreds of her dollars.
Payton refused an on-camera interview.
He claimed a large amount of money is missing from his business.
He told Action 4 News by phone he will not pay any employee until he completes his own internal investigation.
He admitted he has not notified police.
"I'm just getting tired of him putting excuses, excuses, said De La Fuente.
De La Fuente showed Action 4 News what she claimed to be her last paycheck.
It dated back to November 12, 2011.
The pay stub showed an amount of $250 for 53 hours.
Action 4 News did the math.
It appeared De La Fuente got paid less than $5 an hour.
According to the Texas Workforce Commission, minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.
Payton told Action 4 News he is not breaking any law.
He sent us the following statement:
Per U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and HourFair Labor Standards Amendments of 1989 For most firms, an annual dollar volume of business tests appliesConstruction and Laundry/Dry Cleaning enterprises are subjectto the business test with the FLSA minimum wage at$3.35 an hour with overtime pay exemption.
Apparently Payton believes minimum wage for a laundromat employee is $3.35 an hour.
De La Fuente said she and her brother are each owed for over 100 hours of work.
She said she plans to file a claim of unpaid wages with the Texas Workforce Commission.
Payton said his internal investigation should be complete by Friday.
He said only after it's complete will he let employees know if he intends on paying them.