Hospital Employees Denied Final Paycheck

DECEMBER 9, 2004 -- Posted at: 10:20pm CST

CHEROKEE VILLAGE, AR - The employees were told on December 4th that they would be receiving their last pay check Friday afternoon at three. Then Thursday evening they learned, they will not be getting the money that's owed to them.

Employee payroll usually comes from a Medicare reimbursement check, and the owner of the hospital was shut off from Medicare sooner than anticipated. That means there's not enough money in the hospital's account to clear the checks. Valerie West and other supervisors were told around four Thursday afternoon that they needed to inform their 147 employees that the paychecks that had been printed were no good.

West explained, "All I could think of was how devastating it was going to be to all of our employees. I know a lot of them have just been holding on. They're waiting for their unemployment to kick in. They still have a waiting week, and now to know that they're not even going to have a last check to pay their bills, and with Christmas coming."

Leaders in Sharp County want the employees to be able to have a holiday celebration with their families. So, Valerie West will set up an account benefiting them at the First National Bank. You can drop off donations in Ash Flat, Hardy and Cherokee Village. K8 News is scheduled to meet with employees Friday afternoon regarding this latest development. You can see that story on Nightbeat at 10pm.