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Richmond, VA—Employees of a Richmond substance abuse treatment center are speaking out, saying that their paychecks have been delayed several different times—sometimes for up to a week.
The frustrated employees asked 8News to keep their identities concealed, but spoke with us candidly about the problem. They say delays in their pay have happened on multiple occasions.
"It's been about five times."
Another employee found out at the last minute that they wouldn't be paid for working that week: "The first time it happened for me, it was 4:10 I was informed I would not be getting paid and I should have gotten paid at 4 o'clock."
Most recently employees at Rubicon received an email February 14th at about 5 p.m. telling them that their paychecks due the next day would not be there. Six days later, they got another email, saying paychecks would be distributed on February 22. But employees say it did not happen.
The employees constantly worry about paying their bills on time. "I am still expected to come to work when I haven't gotten paid, how am I supposed to put gas in my car?" says one frustrated worker.
"Unfortunately I had to make the hard decision of would I pay my rent on time or go to work," admits another.
For over 40 years, Rubicon has been helping families in central Virginia overcome their addictions. The non-profit employs about 100 people, and gets state, federal and local funding. It is one of the only facilities in the region that provides in-patient treatment to low-income people, and the only facility in the region that provides the help for mothers and their children.
In October 2012, a staff meeting was held to discuss a "financial crisis" at the center. But employees say they have not received much information about the financial woes.
"We have never really been told anything specific."
Larry Everette, Rubicon's Executive Director, tells us the delayed paychecks are the result of a delay in funding. He also cites the economy, a reduction in patients and increased medical costs as factors.
8News asked the employees why they continue to show up to work, knowing that they may not be paid. Their answers show a profound commitment and respect for their professions.
"The love of what I do. Helping people who are on drugs and alcohol change their lives around," one employee responds.
"This is something I have wanted to do all of my life. I believe I have something to offer," says another.
Everette says cuts will have to be made; this week, employees got a memo warning them of reduced hours and layoffs.