Home Care Workers Protest Not Being Paid for Their Work
Home care aides employed by the Newton-Foster Home Care Agency in New Haven, Connecticut, held a protest January 17 because they have not received their paychecks for a month.
Agency founder Patty Newton-Foster was planning to accept an advance payment of $30,000 from the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS) to pay the home care workers but then decided not to accept the agency bailout, according to WTNH, a local television station that is following the situation.
Newton-Foster is reported to have changed her mind about taking the advance payment because she said it would only partially cover the payroll debt and the City of New Haven is now involved in trying to resolve the problem.
New Haven Mayor Toni Harp‘s office released a statement confirming that the city is “working collaboratively with all parties toward a settlement,” the TV station reports.
The home care agency is reportedly already in debt to DSS for $91,000 from previous interim payments, but a DSS spokesperson told the TV station that the state agency is still willing to provide the advance payment. DSS changed its billing and claims system last July, which is when Newton-Foster says her problems began.
DSS disagrees and said that “issues of financial instability that do not involve the claims system are causing concern,” according to WTNH.
While employees spoke highly of Newton-Foster and said they would work for her again, without a paycheck some of the aides have stopped working for the agency.
“It has been a very hard struggle,” said Adria McKnight, one of the aides. “I really didn’t think it would be this long.”
Newton-Foster Home Care Agency has been in business for 17 years and has 48 employees.
— by Deane Beebe