BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Paperwork was filled out and sent to the New York State months ago, but some of our frontline workers say they’re still waiting on money they were promised.
“This is an SOS, save our staff,” said Ennis Smith, a four-year employee of The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing facility on Delaware Avenue in Buffalo.
When the program first launched in August, Smith says everyone was excited to get this financial boost. Six months later, he says employee morale is low since many of his coworkers are living paycheck to paycheck and were counting on that money.
To be eligible for this money, you have to work at a recognized facility, have more than six months on the job and a salary less than $125,000.
“We work hard here, we take care of our residents, it would be nice if the owners would show more appreciation and initiation to get us this bonus,” said Smith.
The Grand owns several facilities throughout the state and Smith has heard others have gotten their money.
“It seems like we’re the black sheep of the facility, we’re the last to get everything around here,” said Smith.
But it’s not just Smith and his coworkers, after our initial report, 7 News has gotten numerous emails and calls from people with questions, but not for the state, for their employers.
“I’m also confused and concerned about the healthcare bonus,” writes Danielle. “I worked during the pandemic and was told by my nursing agency they would not pay me any of the money. They are not participating with the program.”
David says he got his money, but only half.
“I was let go on November 1st of 2022, I never received my second payment,” he wrote.
After waiting all this time, Ennis says he’s now starting to question his company.
“My opinion, I believe they have something to hide, that’s why I don’t think they’re in a rush to get the paperwork done, for us to get our bonuses,” said Smith.
7 News reporter Taylor Epps reached out to The Grand by phone and email Tuesday and again on Wednesday to find out where this money is and has yet to hear back.
I’m eligible and I think my employer owes me, what do I do?
We asked the state this question in February and this was the response.
“If an employee thinks they are eligible and has not been able to reach a resolution with their employer, the State is developing a reporting process for employees. More information will be released shortly.”
-New York State Department of Health Spokesperson
When we followed up this week, we received the same response.