Bankrupt First Med fails to pay former employees

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by Eric Kane

WVEC.com

Posted on December 13, 2013 at 11:51 PM

Updated Saturday, Dec 14 at 2:43 PM

PORTSMOUTH, VA --The pain continues for employees of bankrupt First Med EMS, as the company fails to provide compensation to nearly 2,000 workers.

Friday was supposed to be the last payday for First Med employees.

"I thought maybe if I got a paycheck Friday I would be able to kind of maneuver my way through the rest of the month until unemployment kicked in, but nothing," said Christina Smith, who worked as a manager at First Med in Portsmouth.

The single mother says she’s missing payment for 60 hours worth of work.

This past weekend, the major ambulance service shut down without warning or explanation.

Thousands of people across six states suddenly found themselves without a job just weeks before Christmas.

In a North Carolina bankruptcy court earlier this week, the company filed to liquidate its assets. The potentially lengthy process could mean a long wait for payment.

"The bankruptcy attorney has definitely told us it could be months to years,” said Smith.

The sudden shutdown has brought a couple of lawsuits against First Med.    

A class action suit has been filed on behalf of the company's employees who argue first med violated a federal law in which employers must provide two months notice before closing down.

Also Bertie County N.C., a municipality that relied solely on the company for EMS and had to declare a state of emergency when it shut down, has also indicated their pursuing legal action.

 

 

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