PUNTA GORDA, Fla. — An assisted living facility worker told Fox 4 that her employer, the Palms of Punta Gorda, is failing to pay employees on time. The worker, who asked to remain anonymous, said she's concerned about being able to pay her bills. But she also worries for the care of the elderly folks at the Palms due to other employees walking off the job.
"We got paid late two weeks ago," the woman said. "This week, we were supposed to be paid today (Friday), but nobody got their direct deposit. Everybody, including myself, is already hurting."
She said that management is behind on more than their wages.
"They're not paying the light (electric) bill, the food bill, the nurse's supplies - things like diapers and wipes," she said.
She said that some of the other workers have quit. While her bank account is running low, she's staying out of a sense of obligation to care for the folks who need her services at the Palms.
"When you don't have the staff to accommodate, then obviously it's negligence," the woman said. "Many of our employees do care about the residents, but at the same time, the care only goes so far."
When Fox 4 reached out to the Palms, we were told that the administrator was the only person who could answer any questions, and that she was unavailable.
"They say that we should be there for the residents...and that everything should eventually work itself out," the employee said.
The Agency for Health Care Administration lists the owner of the Palms of Punta Gorda as a company called Drive Management, but the agency's link to that company's web site led to GoDaddy.com, with no contact information for Drive Management.
Fox 4 called the Agency for Health Care Administration, which inspects the Palms, to ask about any concerns the agency may have for the welfare of Palms residents due to late paychecks for employees. We did not hear back from AHCA by late Friday.