KSWO reported that the employees at Willow Park Health Care Center were blindsided when they didn’t receive their Dec. 16 paycheck.  The company changed ownership on Dec. 1, so it was the previous owners’ responsibility to deliver their final paycheck to workers on Dec. 16.  Instead of receiving their paycheck, they got a notice saying the IRS had frozen the payroll because of unpaid taxes by the nursing home’s previous owners.

One of those workers is simply upset because he’s dreading the impact on his family’s Christmas.

“When you have a 7-year-old child, it’s not about you having money to buy gifts because they don’t believe that we go out and we buy gifts. They believe Santa comes by and drops them off. How do you explain to your 7-year-old child that Santa didn’t come,” the employee asked?

The employee says how and if he will have to tell his three children Santa didn’t come is constantly on his mind since they found out they are going home without a check.

“It’s not just us, I’m sure a lot of families were depending on that final check to go do their final Christmas shopping. We didn’t have that opportunity simply because the first of the month you pay your bills, the next check you take care of your Christmas,” the employee said.

He says because there has been no communication, he is reluctant to believe anything will happen before Christmas.  Despite not getting their paycheck, many employees continue to go to work.

A company representative said they value their employees, and hope to have it resolved as soon as possible, possibly in time to save Christmas. The company issued the following statement:

“We are proud to be the new operators of this community, and are sorry that the previous owner has been having financial difficulties and was unable to meet payroll. As the new operators, we want to make things right and better for our employees, and are issuing employee bonus checks before Christmas.”

The employee said he hadn’t heard that was a possibility, but said even if he gets his check Christmas Eve, he will be happy to put something under the tree for his kids.

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