UPDATE: Employees of HCCA were paid Friday after a failure to pay on Thursday.
Employees of Healthcare Conglomerate Associates were lined up Thursday afternoon waiting for their final paychecks — but no checks were being provided, they say.
Instead of receiving their pay, they received a greeting from security guards posted at Tulare Regional Medical Center’s Allied Building. The company’s CEO has stated the employees would be paid Friday.
“We are all standing here but the building is all locked up,” one employee said.
Dr. Benny Benzeevi, the company’s CEO, stated that the failure to pay employees rested squarely with the Tulare Local Healthcare District, the legal entity which owns Tulare Regional. However, the hospital’s employees are HCCA’s under a management contract between the two entities.
“This is yet another example of the consequences of the Board’s irresponsible actions,” Benzeevi told the Voice. “And, once again, HCCA has to step in and clean up their mess.”
Employees that spoke to the Voice on the condition of anonymity said that they were previously instructed to pick up their last checks at 1pm today at the hospital’s human resources office.
“They have notes posted at the hospital on the door and security posted at the doors not allowing employees in to pick up their paychecks that are still owed to them,” one employee told the Voice.
The checks were to include left over vacation and sick pay.
The employees that contacted the Voice spanned multiple departments. All said they weren’t getting their checks.
Kevin Northcraft, Chairman of the Tulare Local Healthcare District’s Board of Directors, said he’d received word that employees weren’t being paid as well.
“I got several messages about the paychecks. Just despicable,” he said. “I am fairly sure that HCCA got a government check of 1.3 million dollars in the last three weeks. I am so sorry that the employees are suffering through no fault of their own.”
One employee in a position to be aware claimed that Benzeevi was withholding the checks.
“He is the sole person,” the employee said
Employees also claimed that Alan Germany, the company’s chief financial officer, said that he was not allowed to release the checks.
“Human resources personnel left early and we were met by security guards and the HR is all locked up,” another said.
“We have families to feed,” he said. “We need to get paid.”