Disgruntled healthcare workers rally, file complaints

CREATED May 7, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - More than 100 disgruntled healthcare workers formalized protests against their former company.

Dozens of people who used to work for Deaconess Home Health staged a rally in front of the State Office Building in Downtown Milwaukee on Tuesday. With help from workers' rights group Wisconsin Jobs Now, employees filled out and filed labor complaints with the Department of Workforce Development.

Former employees hope the official move will unfreeze money for paychecks, now a week past due.

"Everyone wants to get paid. There are bills that have to be paid. We have to get paid. We worked for this. This was not something that was given to us. We worked for this," said Gregory Marks, a former Deaconess employee.

The company shut down April 30, in the middle of a health insurance fraud investigation, but little word came from the company.

The financial stress is nearly too much to take for workers, who are left caring for their patients for free. They’re also scrambling for a job.

"I got to go to orientation still, so it takes another four to six weeks before anything,” explained Marier Mustafa.

The Department of Workforce Development will now look over the complaints.

A spokesman tells TODAY’S TMJ4 the department can even ask authorities to put a lien on Deaconess to recover lost wages. That process could take weeks, or even months.