I-Team: Local business allegedly not paying employees
Updated: Monday, September 3 2012, 07:30 PM EDT
(NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A local medical business was accused of not paying employees for months, and the Newschannel 3 I-Team looked into it.
Aguilera Adult Advocate Care is located off Business One Drive in Comstock Township, and says they are a medical telemarketing company who calls home-bound medicare beneficiaries and offers in-home care and services with a large network of doctors.
Meanwhile, several current and former employees say they are not being--or were not--paid.
People say they were hired on the spot after filling out W-2's, paying a background check fee in cash and being promised $10 an hour with full time benefits.
They say they were taken advantage of, because many were desperate for a decent paying job.
"I got 4 kids I'm trying to take care of, school is starting next week, they need school clothes and school supplies," said Tedarial Edwards, one worker who claims he worked for the company for two months and has yet to be paid.
Edwards says he was hired as a telemarketer for the medical company and says the CEO Micallela Auilera required a $65 cash fee for a background check, and that he never got a receipt.
Tameka Brooks also says she paid that background fee when she was hired by Aguilera three weeks ago to work with physicians, and that she was even required to buy scrubs.
"For three weeks straight, she's been telling me to come in, and I have been in to do nothing," Brooks says. "I haven't left with the doctor I'm supposed to leave with."
Norma Thornton says she was hired by Aguilera a month ago as the administrator to do payroll work.
She says to her knowledge, no one has been paid.
Newschannel 3 confronted Aguilera at her business about the allegations, and while she refused to go on camera, she answered our questions.
She claims the people are getting paid, but then says they haven't been paid yet, but will be "on Tuesday."
Aguilera insisted that she was not scamming people, saying that, "once I get my stuff up and running," things will be okay.
Edwards meanwhile, says that from what he's seen, he's not working a legitimate job.
"It makes me angry for one, then disappointed, because I thought I had a job," he said. "It saddens my heart because I can see she's doing these people wrong."
Several employees with the organization say they quit their jobs following our interviews with them.
They say they will now be filing complaints with the labor board.
We also checked with the Kalamazoo County Clerk's Office and found Aguilera Adult Advocate Care, LLC is not registered with the County or State of Michigan.