'It's kind of thievery': Jellico hospital staff say pay checks arrive late again

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JELLICO, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Employees at Jellico Community Hospital in Campbell County said it's been a week since paychecks were supposed to be handed out. This is now the third time it's happened, employees said.

On September 5, Florida Blue confirmed to WVLT News that insurance for employees at Jellico Community Hospital had also been terminated. But employees said insurance premiums were still coming out of their paychecks for several weeks after the July 1st cancellation.

A letter obtained by WVLT News was sent to employees by Rennova Health, the company behind Jellico Community Hospital. It said "Upon final reconciliation of July and August premiums and employee contributions, employees will receive a reimbursement of medical deductions taken in July and August. Reimbursement checks will be distributed by September 16, 2019."

Three nurses have told WVLT those reimbursements have not come in yet.

Rennova Health is the same company behind the now closed Jamestown Regional Medical Center.

Micke Lay's wife, Anna, is one of the nurses at the hospital. He said Rennova had not told them when to expect a paycheck. Anna Lay said she is now quitting her job because of the continual problems.

"They love their jobs. They love the small town. They love the people here. We all know each other. They need the hospital, and we need the hospital. But they also need their paychecks," Micke said.

It's wasn't clear how many employees were affected, however three employees said it wasn't just them.

WVLT News reached out to the hospital's administration several times for comment. Hospital staff confirmed they received our request for information but did not say more.

WVLT did meet up with Jellico Mayor Dwight Osbourne Thursday, September 19th during City Council. He said he has been in touch with hospital administration, but at this point there is nothing they can do. He said the administrators were optimistic the problem would be resolved.

The Tennessee Department of Labor said it had not received any complaints about pay from employees at Jellico Community Hospital. However, a representative said they would not investigate until 21 days without pay.

State officials said the hospital did file an official notice with the Department of Labor that they would layoff 147 workers effective February 28.

The hospital is on the Tennessee Justice Center's list of Tennessee hospitals at-risk of closing and has been there since February 2019.

The hospital has not returned requests to comment.

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