Healthcare Worker Wants Paycheck, Employer Disappeared

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - A woman who's spent the last year and a half taking care of others doesn't feel like her employer is taking care of her. She's not looking for a pat on the back. All she wants is money in her bank!

Debra Burgoyne says the healthcare company didn't give her a final check. She’s expecting a check worth more than a couple of hundred bucks.  The amount may be small, but it's big enough to disrupt Burgoyne's lifestyle. She worked hard for her money. She’s tried getting in touch with the former boss, but hasn’t had any luck.

Burgoyne has done everything on the job in the last year and a half you can imagine.

“Anything from preparing meals to taking clients' medical appointments, washing dishes, housekeeping and laundry,” said Burgoyne.

She's clocked a lot of hours.

“I wouldn't say hard. I've had harder jobs. It was a very busy or active job,” added Burgoyne.

Burgoyne enjoys meeting people. But, that's not why she took the job.

"As my mom is aging, she will need that care someday. So, I was looking for the experience,” added Burgoyne.

Essential Care paid Burgoyne on the 5th and 20th of each month. Burgoyne says someone from the company would meet her at various locations around Huntsville to deliver a paycheck.

Burgoyne would most often meet outside a major retail store.

“It did seem odd," Burgoyne said.

She quit the job December 5, 2013. She's not sure why.

“I guess, it is three strikes and you're out rule. I don't know. That's kind of a cheeky answer, but ...,” added Burgoyne.

The former caregiver expected to get a paycheck worth around $240.

“Right before Christmas, it was very difficult. I had to put Christmas on hold. As a single person, I needed the money and every penny of it,” added Burgoyne.

She says, after all, it's her money. She earned it.

“It impacted me. At the same time, I have bills to pay and if you don't pay your bills on time, you are charged late fees. So, it was a juggling act,” added Burgoyne.

Burgoyne picked up the phone, clicked on the keyboard and left message after message with the staff at her former employer.

“I've talked with a lot of different people. People whom I've never talked to before and I am not sure of their position or role in the company,” added Burgoyne.

WHNT NEWS 19 decided to look for her boss and his company.  Essential Care does not have a physical location. The owner uses a post office box.

So far, we haven't had any luck talking with anyone from Essential Care, but we did leave a message on a voice mail attached to the number listed for Mark Davies' home. Davies’ name is listed on Burgoyne's payroll checks.

Alabama has no state law on this matter, so federal law prevails. The law states employers must pay a former employee within two pay periods of their final work day.


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