To: Lazaro Bonilla, CEO, Deaconess Home Health
Deaconess: Give Us Our Paychecks
I’m one of dozens of home care workers in Milwaukee who were abruptly told on April 30 that our employer, Deaconess Home Health, couldn’t pay us anymore. We’re owed weeks of backpay, and I lost my home because Deaconess never sent my last paycheck. We’re demanding that Deaconess pay us the money we’re owed!
Why is this important?
My name is Edith Kimbrough, and I love being a home care worker. Believe it or not, I’ve had twelve kids of my own, so I know a thing or two about taking care of people! As a home care worker for Deaconess Home Health in Milwaukee, I travel to the homes of sick and elderly folks and make sure they have everything they need.
I took excellent care of people for Deaconess. But Deaconess has not taken such good care of me.
On April 30, my coworkers and I were abruptly told that Deaconess had lost state funding and that we should all go home and not come back. The state tells a different story: that Deaconess is under investigation for fraud. We were all shocked and upset by this news. In fact, some of us even kept taking care of our patients, because we knew that if we didn’t show up, no one else would.
Things went from bad to worse. Deaconess did not pay us for the second half of April, so I wasn’t able to pay my rent for May and lost my apartment. Now my 3-year-old daughter and I are staying at a friend’s house, sleeping wherever we can find the space. My coworkers are in similar situations -- we were already paid so little that many of us were one paycheck away from homelessness, and that last paycheck still hasn’t come.
We’re not going to stop fighting until Deaconess gives us the backpay we are rightfully owed. Last weekend, we held a rally at Deaconess headquarters that was taped for the news. Deaconess is feeling the public pressure to meet its commitment to its employees, and we know that if thousands of people sign our petition, Deaconess will realize that we’re going to keep that pressure on high until we get what we need.
Please sign my petition demanding that Deaconess Home Health pay me and other home care workers the backpay we are owed.