FOND DU LAC, Wis. - A former princess performer for Princess My Party, Andrea Kuhlow, said she loved being able to dress up as a princess and interact with kids at birthday parties and other fun children's events.
"I love doing this so much. It is such a rewarding job and a rewarding experience to work with the kids in such a way that you're their hero," she said.
Kuhlow was employed by the major children's entertainment company based in Fond Du Lac for about a year before she quit.
"They're promising to pay us, and then they don't," she said.
She said the company still owes her and others all across the state, including in Madison, hundreds to thousands of dollars in compensation.
In a Facebook post, Kuhlow posted about her experience and dozens of others said the same thing was happening to them.
"Ever since speaking about it, I've had so many women come up to me and message me saying, 'Thank God, you're finally talking about this. I thought I was the only one.'"
Kuhlow said her first monthly paycheck went through when she first started, but most of the checks after that bounced back.
"Three or four days later, we would get an email from PayPal saying the payment didn't go through and it was rejected by the sender's bank," she said. "They would say, 'I'm sorry your paycheck didn't work out. We will just add it to next month's paycheck.' So it kept adding up and adding up and adding up."
We reached out to Princess My Party about this, and the company said in a statement:
"Princess My Party has partnered with many organizations over the past five years to provide character entertainment at little to no cost to assist in their fundraising efforts. Although the organizers do not pay our performers to attend, Princess My Party pays the performers for their appearance out of funds raised from private parties and paid appearances. Unfortunately the money has run out. The Former CEO was floating the company from her personal funds which have also run out, creating a situation where a performers wages may have been delayed for hours worked. Princess My Party is working hard to resolve this matter quickly so that we can return to making magic in Wisconsin. We have been in contact with the Department of Workforce Development and all of our employees records are up-to-date per state standards."
Kuhlow said this has been happening to people for years, but hopes it comes to an end.
"People I've never even met before that said, 'Hey I worked here three years ago. This exact same thing happened to me. I just hope this doesn't happen to anyone else."
Kuhlow said she and several others are working with the Department of Workforce Development to get the compensation they say they are owed.
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