Payment trouble for drivers of visiting nurses

Seven On Your Side
December 23, 2011 8:09:03 PM PST
They helped save lives by driving nurses to patients at home, but the drivers' bank accounts were suddenly put on life support when they didn't get paid.

"Whenever they call, if a wound needs changing in the middle of the night, someone get discharged in the middle of the night, we go out," said Sexton Alston, driver.

Sexton Alston loves his job, driving nurses all over New York City.

"They get into my vehicle, we go to the patients house, I escort them into the building, into the patient," Alston said.

Half security, half driver, and all heart, he took a job driving for the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, knowing firsthand the company's compassion.

"You know my mom's had visiting nurse service and I saw how caring they were with her, and I saw an opportunity to work with them, I jumped on it," Alston said.

But after six weeks of doing jobs 24/7, Sexton is now jumping through hoops to get the company who hired him, All City Transportation, to pay for his time.

"How much does the company owe you ?" Nina Pineda of 7 On Your Side asked.

"$4,470," Alston said.

"For how many trips?" Pineda asked.

"Well over a 100," Alston said.

"When did they stop paying you?" Pineda asked.

"Last payment was October 28th," Alston said.

Nine other drivers were in the same boat, owed thousands in back pay they couldn't collect.

"They kept pushing us back, 'Okay your check will be ready on Monday', you get there Monday it'll be ready on Friday," Alston said.

All City did cut checks for drivers, but it was only a third of what was owed.

Sexton's had the words "final payment" written on it.

It was time to pay All City a visit.

But after shutting the door on 7 On Your Side's cameras, a board member came out to talk.

"I'm not trying to understand the way you do business," the board member said.

"The way I do business is when I have bills I pay them," Pineda said.

"When you have bills you pay them, but when you receive the funds," the board member said.

He said All City had not been paid by the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, and that was holding up paying the drivers.

"We will meet with them and everyone will receive their money," the board member said.

Checks were promised.

"You'll be able to cut checks for these people Monday," Nina said.

"Yes, definitely," the board member said.

Monday came and went, and there were no checks.

The new holdup is that All City never submitted the drivers' bills to Visiting Nurse Service for payment.

Days after 7 On Your Side's camera left, invoices finally were processed.

Sexton and the other drivers got an early Christmas gift, payment in full.

"Thank you 7 On Your Side, without Nina and Steve, we'd still be running around with our heads cut off, so this has been a blessing," Alston said.

Visiting Nurse Service of New York says because of these payment problems, it has stopped using All City Transportation.

As for Sexton, he and other drivers will take a portion of that back pay and as they do every year, donate toys to children they drive nurse to visit and at the hospitals where they do pickups.



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