Laid off workers not paid what they were promised

ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - Some laid off employees of St. Louis ConnectCare say they're being cheated out of hundreds of dollars.

The non-profit health provider says it doesn't have the money to stay open, so it's shutting down all of its services November 15. Some former employees went to collect their final paychecks Friday, but many of them received a fraction of what they were expecting.

John Johnson is one of those people. He was expected to receive a check for around $2,000 Friday. Instead he received a check for a little more than $300.

"They told me today with no warning, no nothing, no you're not getting it," said Johnson.

For more than a year, Johnson has been working as a driver for ConnectCare, transporting patients. The company's closure put him out of a job. But he thought he had a safety net. ConnectCare told John he would receive his hourly rate for all of the earned time off he'd accrued, which was nearly 150 hours.

"If I had known I wasn't going to get paid for it, I could have taken days off while I was still working there to go find other employment. But I stayed there and worked for them," said Johnson.

Johnson and other former employees received a letter Friday explaining ConnectCare is evaluating its debts and resources, then will try to pay former employees their severance and earned time off. It goes on to say, "We recognize this action will cause difficulties but we have no choice."

John says the situation has left him without any options.

"My rent is due right now. I've got a man coming to collect rent today. And I don't have anything to give him," said Johnson.

ConnectCare declined an on camera interview. But in a phone conversation, the CEO tells NewsChannel 5 she understands the frustration with this decision. But she says the company did not expect to have to shut down so quickly and that it is just following the advice of its lawyers.


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