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2008/04/18

Unpaid People

An unhappy employee of the home health care business based in Thoreau, NM called our office and said there were dozens of people angrily waiting for their paychecks and the company was refusing to release them. People of all ages were standing and sitting in the parking lot and in their vehicles, waiting for their paychecks and wondering what to do. Some had driven long distances to get paid, and needed the checks to have gas money to drive home. While talking to the employees and some of the clients I heard speculation about embezzlement, reports of the managers playing "games" by sending them from one place to another, and a general dislike for the new directors.

When I returned to the office I submitted the following images, and was chastised by the managing editor for making him need to redesign the front page because of the news photos (he was, of course, joking).


Martha Bennett, of Mariano Lake, sits inside a car Friday as she waits with dozens of care providers and clients for information on when they will receive their checks from Compassion Personal Health in Thoreau. When workers went to
the office for their checks they were instead met with a sign informing them that checks will be mailed to them.

Michael Vandever holds his son, Kaylem, as he and dozens of other care providers working for Compassion Personal Care gather outside of the business' office Friday in Thoreau.

A sign in the window stating that checks will be mailed contradicts other information that employees had that said checks would be issued at 3 pm.

More than 50 vehicles fill the parking lot and surrounding areas Friday of Compassion Personal Care's office in Thoreau, NM as care providers and clients wait for information on their checks from the company.

Newly appointed director Willie Antone secures the front door to Compassion Personal Care in Thoreau on Friday while dozens of employees and clients sit in their vehicles and stand nearby, waiting for their paychecks. Some of the people travelled from considerable distances to get their checks, and were stranded with insufficient money to buy gas to drive home.
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