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Unpaid clinic workers: ‘We love our jobs, but can’t afford to work without pay’

Special to SEGAZINE

Employees at the hospital’s Family Practice Clinic found out last week withdrawals from their paychecks for health insurance have not been paid to Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

A little more than a month after it came out that Charlton Memorial Hospital had been withholding federal payroll taxes from their employees’ checks but not paying the IRS — clinic employees learned of the new diversion of funds.

“We thought they had been taking out from our checks for our health insurance, but the money was not going to Blue Cross/Blue Shield,” clinic employee Chantelle Brown told the Herald this week. “They had the money in the bank for payroll, but instead of paying us they had to get the insurance caught up because they had been using that money for something else.”

Charlton Memorial CEO said in September, after the IRS placed a $500,000 lien on the medical facility’s building and land, that payroll tax withholdings had been used since 2011 to buy supplies necessary to the day-to-day operations of the hospital.

Brown, a single mother who has been working at the clinic since 2010, said she never expected to be put in this position by her employer.

“Yes, we’ve got to have our insurance, but we’ve got to have our paychecks, too,” she said. “We can’t work for free. We all have bills and families to take care of. It’s a messed up situation.”

via Charlton County Herald

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