DENVER (CBS4) — Albany-based payroll company, MyPayrollHR, abruptly shut down Thursday, leaving thousands of employees without paychecks. Home health care workers across the country were hit hard, including Caring Senior Service employees in Colorado.
Employees started calling their boss, Pat Abernathey, at 6 o’clock Thursday morning.
“They we’re saying ‘Hey something’s wrong.’ No one knew what was going on,” said Abernathey, owner of two Caring Senior Service franchises in Colorado.
He learned about paychecks deposited on Aug. 30, including his own, had been reversed. It wasn’t until later that day when he learned thousands of others were missing paychecks across the country.
“[MyPayrollHR] notified us that they were out of business and said find a new way to pay your employees,” said Abernathy. A statement sent to him Friday from the company is the last he’s heard from them.
Caring Senior Service employees who were not enrolled in direct deposit or opted to receive paper checks were not impacted by MyPayrollHR’s sudden closure. If his employees weren’t in the red Thursday, many were the following day.
“Friday, people’s accounts were hit again for the same amount,” said Abernathey. The second deposit reversal was reported by thousands of other employees across the country whose employer used MyPayrollHR.
Nearly 2,000 victims of the shutdown have joined a Facebook group to offer support and get advice on what to do next. Some employees reported having a third paycheck reversed. Many living paycheck to paycheck continue to refresh their banking apps, in fear of dipping further into the negatives.
“When you have $100 or $200 in your bank account, and then $1,000 gets taken out and then another $1,000 — that’s panic inducing. It was near the first of the month. They’ve already spent money on car payments, rent payments, mortgage payments,” said Abernathy.
Abernathey was able to loan his employees money via paper check, hopeful this would get resolved. While some banks are giving him a hard time, he says most local banks have been helpful in starting the process to get checks re-deposited.
Meanwhile, he’s heard employees at other companies don’t plan on coming back.
“Some employees quit over it. They felt like they were being wronged by the company. Employees really began to panic and rightly so,” said Abernathy.
Caring Senior Service provides in-home non-medical care for the elderly. He says it was be devastating for his clients if his employees lost trust in his company and quit. Abernathy has been helping his employees work with their banks since the first reversal Thursday.
Abernathy suggests that people affected call their banks immediately and put a stop payment on the withdrawals. Most banks have waived the stop payment and overdraft fees. Some employees have even closed their bank accounts and opened new ones, so they’re not hit a third or even a fourth time.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called on the NYDFS to open an investigation. The Governor tweeted: “The company’s reckless actions have left employees with negative bank accounts. They deserve answers.”