Clarksville clinic employees say they haven't been paid by their employer in weeks

Advance Care Medical
Posted at 5:14 PM, Dec 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-07 23:01:38-05

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — When you put in a hard day of work, you expect to be paid. But that's not happening at a healthcare clinic in Clarksville, according to employees who work there.

The Advance Care Medical clinic opened on Tiny Town Road back in February, and everything went smoothly at first. Then, the staff started noticing issues with their parent company.

"And then we got a paycheck that was late by a couple of days and they said that won’t happen again," said Robert Crouch, a physician assistant certified at the clinic.

"We found out, without any notice, we had lost our health insurance. We had lost our benefits altogether. And so that’s when we knew there was trouble," said Amber Wilson, a medical assistant and receptionist at the clinic.

Then, in October, the paychecks stopped altogether.

"A good portion of our staff are single family incomes, and if you don’t have an income as a single family income, then you don’t have Thanksgiving. You don’t have Christmas," said Crouch.

For weeks, the employees at Advance Care Medical tried to keep the place open, even though they weren't being paid. Eventually, a critical piece of software was allowed to lapse meaning they couldn't keep the clinic open. Now the front door is locked and a sign is up explaining why.

"It wasn’t us, we did everything we could. We’re still trying, honestly. We still are," Crouch told us.

Even with an empty clinic, a core group of employees continues to report for work to keep support services going for as long as they can.

"We’ve continued to come into work every day even without pay for two months. We’re here for our patients," said Wilson.

NewsChannel 5 reached out to Advance Care Medical for this story, and so far no requests for comment have been returned.

But the clinic did hear back from corporate, during the middle of our interview. The executive told one of the staff members that they were working to get them all paid, at least for the month of October.

The executive also asked them to stop engaging with reporters, otherwise, "I'm just going to shut down the clinics including closing the company," he said over the phone.

"We’ve really built a great thing here, and we’ve worked really hard to get to where we’re at today. So to see it all kind of crumble is really, really heartbreaking," said Wilson.

Employees say they're doubtful they'll ever see the money they're owed.

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development confirmed they’ve received six complaints against Advance Care Medical. Their Labor Standards Unit is now investigating all three of their Tennessee locations in Clarksville, Columbia, and Chattanooga.

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