A month after the last Skyline Healthcare-operated nursing homes in Massachusetts closed their doors, the state’s attorney general hit the company with multiple citations over unpaid wages and missing payroll documentation.
Skyline leaders Joseph and Michael Schwartz failed to pay nearly $65,000 owed to 106 employees in a timely fashion, AG Maura Healey’s office alleged Thursday, while also neglecting to provide 369 employees with their pay stubs. The Schwartzes additionally did not offer up payroll records, according to Healey’s office.
“Skyline’s owner and operator stole from their employees and created staffing shortages that endangered the health and safety of their elderly residents,” Healey said in a statement. “We expect nursing home operators to maintain the safe and dignified environment that residents and workers deserve.”
Joseph Schwartz owned and operated the now-defunct Skyline chain, which had ballooned to more than 100 properties before collapsing in states across the country starting last year; he also owned and operated four of the five Skyline buildings that closed their doors earlier this year. Michael Schwartz, meanwhile, was the operator of the fifth, according to Healey’s office.
States across the country continue to clean up the mess left in the wake of Skyline’s financial woes and closures; most recently, officials in South Dakota signed off on the transfer of 16 former Skyline properties to the Illinois-based Cascade Capital Group after a protracted process that saw objections from a lender and a telehealth vendor.
Under the terms of the Massachusetts citations, the pair must pay $84,950 in penalties. KCP Advisory Group, the court-appointed receiver that took control of the properties in April, reimbursed employees for back wages as well as paid time off, Healey’s office said.
Massachusetts law requires all employers to pay their workers within six days of the close of any pay period, and provide a detailed pay slip with information about wages and withholdings.
The five facilities, all located in the Bay State’s South Coast region, saw unpaid bills pile up in the months leading to the state’s receivership action in late April, with Healey’s office alleging that the company would be unable to make payroll or cover vendor costs without government intervention. All five were closed by May 28, according to local news reports.
Massachusetts assistant attorney general Anita Maietta and investigator Eduina Butts, both of the AG’s Fair Labor Division, led the back-wage case for the state.