By: Alexandra Cowley
An exclusive ABC 6 investigation looks into claims of serious problems at an Attleboro rest home. Among the troubles; bed bugs and workers who say they never know when, or if, they're going to get paid.
"We need our pay, it's ridiculous," said an employee of the Attleboro rest home.
Four workers at the Pleasant Street Rest Home in Attleboro can't pay their bills, because they say they never know when, or if, they'll get their paychecks. They agreed to talk to us, but asked we not identify them, for fear of losing their jobs. Their face and voice are disguised.
Employee 1 said, "I had to pay my electrical bill, I didn't get my paycheck, so I couldn't pay my electric bill, my lights got shut off."
They tell us they're supposed to get a check every week, but they say they've waited as long as a month without compensation.
Employee 2 said she can't pay her rent on time, "enough already, why aren't we getting paid?"
When they do get paid, they get multiple checks to make up for prior weeks. Sometimes the dates and hours don't match, or one of the employees received two paystubs dated for the same week.
Employee 3 said, "it's so confusing I don't know when I'm getting what paycheck."
The workers are concerned abut more than just themselves.
Employee 4 says the main reason she agreed to an interview was because she's concerned for the residents. She said, "residents are always hungry, there's never anything to drink, they have to drink tap water."
When we went by the rest home, residents were outside, one of whom was eager to share his experience.
Bill Callahan is a Resident at Pleasant St Rest Home.
Callahan said, "The bed bugs were unbelievable, chew everybody up, they were getting everybody."
Callahan had the bites to go along with his story.
"If they took the money to get rid of the bed bugs to have a guy come in and spray, we would hardly have anything to eat that following week," Callahan said.
The rest home's director, Tim Morin, wouldn't do an on camera interview, but spoke to us over the phone. Admitting payroll is an issue, and that the facility did have a bed bug problem, that's since been solved.
Morin told us over the phone, "it's not only payroll, its an issue of paying the vendors on time too."
Morin said the home gets 40 dollars a day from residents, but that doesn't cover all of its costs. The rest is billed to the Massachusetts Health Medicaid Program. If state funding is delayed, so is payroll.
We asked Morin if he's worried his rest home will be shut down and he replied; "yes we do everyday."
Workers at the home agree, saying it can't keep going on like this.
"If they don't pay us and we don't go to work, then they're not going to be taken care of and it's not fair to them," said Employee 1.
The Massacusetts Department of Labor says it has received complaints and it takes non-payment issues seriously. The Department of Health would not confirm if it is looking into the Pleasant Street Rest Home, but says if it learns a provider is out of compliance, it will conduct an investigation and take corrective action.