Jonesboro nursing home accused of not paying its employees
JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Instead of cashing their checks at 3 p.m. Monday, employees at Lexington Place Nursing and Rehabilitation gathered outside of the facility upset that their checks would not clear.
Three of those employees told Region 8 News this wasn’t the first time.
Jonesboro police responded to the facility on Browns Lane to help escort those who were not working off of the premises.
Certified Nursing Assistant Janitta Wilbourn said she doesn’t even know if she’s still an employee at this moment.
“Honestly, I don’t know [if she’s employed], I was on the clock when I got my check, and I clocked out when they told me I wasn’t going to get paid,” Wilbourn said.
Many employees of the nursing home said that they received their checks earlier in the day and were instructed to take those checks to First Security Bank at 3 p.m. to cash.
However, they say this is at least the second time the bank has denied those paychecks.
Augustus Peters worked there as a dietary manager, but he quit two weeks ago when he did not receive his last check.
He went to pick up that check Monday and was told the funds were not available.
“We can’t live like that, Peters said. “We have bills due today.”
While a day late, Peters did confirm that he did receive his paycheck Tuesday.
We reached out to the nursing home and asked to speak to the manager. The woman who answered said they had no comment before hanging up.
According to Medicare.gov, Cathy Parsons is the managing employee who owns 25 percent of Lexington Place Nursing Home and Rehabilitation. The site states Keith Head owns the other 75 percent.
However, Parsons stated in an email to Region 8 News that she and Head parted ways last year.
I was a business partner of Keith Head’s until the spring of 2018. I resigned from the business in March of 2018 and have had no involvement since that time. I was forced to file a lawsuit against Mr. Head which is pending in Lincoln County.
We searched Head’s name and found an online court record showing that Parsons is one of many who have filed a lawsuit against Head specifically concerning Arkansas healthcare facilities.
That suit alleges that Parsons discovered significant accounting irregularities within the books and records for H.O.P.E. Healthcare.
She agreed to fix those irregularities, including payroll obligations, totaling more than $730,000.
According to the court filings, Head denied the accounting irregularities and the loan Parsons offered.
However, when he responded to the specific loan Parsons alleges she gave H.O.P.E. Healthcare, Head’s attorney said they didn’t have enough information to support or deny the allegations.
According to Medicare.gov, a facility is ranked with up to 5 stars based on 3 different categories for quality, health, and staffing inspections.
For quality, Lexington Place Nursing Home and Rehabilitation received a one-star rating, well below the average.
The facility ranked average in both health inspections and staffing.
While taking a deeper look into those health inspections, the facility’s been inspected 6 times since 2016, cited with 22 deficiencies.
The most sobering occurred during a September 2016 inspection that resulted in a $1,300 fine.
The report claims the nursing home, “failed to provide necessary care and services to maintain the highest well being of each resident or care for residents in a way that keeps their dignity and respect.”
Region 8 News contacted Head by phone for comment. He said he would call back.
After two additional calls and a text, he never responded.
Augustus Peters argues that there’s no way for the facility to take care of its residents if employees aren’t paid, but he’s also sending a message to family and friends who have loved ones staying in the facility.
“They need to come check on the people they have here," he said. "They need to. Because if you can’t pay employees and no one is going to work then who’s taking care of your family.”
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