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What you need to know for 11/18/2017

12 nurses sue shuttered Albany company for back wages

12 nurses sue shuttered Albany company for back wages

An Albany-based business is being sued by a dozen former employees who allege they weren’t paid all

An Albany-based business is being sued by a dozen former employees who allege they weren’t paid all their wages, expenses and accrued vacation time before the company closed its doors earlier this year.

Twelve nurses who worked for Care Support of America are suing the company in state Supreme Court in Albany County for alleged violations of state Labor Law. The company’s CEO, Richard Liebich of Stillwater, has other businesses and philanthropic organizations that also have faced money troubles and have been the subject of lawsuits in recent months.

Care Support of America, which was based at 113 Holland Ave., provided health counseling and education by telephone to people suffering chronic illnesses, according to an online business profile site.

The company’s own website has been taken down, but the profile site said registered nurses educated patients about their health problems by phone for three months and then monitored them for nine months afterward.

The 12 employees live all over the country.

They allege in the lawsuit that the company several times sent the workers pay checks that bounced, starting in August 2011. In some cases the workers were able to eventually cash the checks after having to initially pay penalties and fees, and in other cases the checks never cleared.

In total, the suit alleges the workers are owed just shy of $65,000 for their unpaid salaries and unused vacation time that was included in a final check that bounced.

CHECKS BOUNCE

In January, after checks from several pay periods had bounced, eight nurses were laid off. Later that month, the company’s telephone and Internet services were disconnected. The company stopped operation in late February.

In addition, the nurses are owed expenses for work-related telephone and Internet services and for monies that were taken out of their checks to be deposited in their retirement funds but were not deposited, the suit alleges. Those numbers are not given in the lawsuit. The suit was filed July 26.

Two of the workers are local: Linda McTague of Albany and Cynthia Seay of Voorheesville. The others are Diedra Doscher of West Sand Lake; Lesley Hayes of Hillsdale; Alejandro Valdes of Jackson Heights; Linda Butti of Canal Winchester, Ohio; Raelene Hill of Delaware, Ohio; Robin Krebs of Sumter, S.C.; Renuka Ramnunan of Branford, Conn.; Yvonne McGowan of Columbia, S.C.; Allen Ridenour of Marietta, Ohio; and Patricia Awad of Hilliard, Ohio.

CEO Richard Liebich runs two philanthropic organizations in Clifton Park with money he and his family made since starting the company that became Sysco Corp. The assets of Charitable Leadership Foundation and Charitable Venture Foundation were frozen by court order in December because of a loan foreclosure case in Albany County.

The foundations and Liebich are also closely tied to the now-defunct Ordway Research Institute in Albany, which until it went into bankruptcy last year was researching new treatments for cancer and other diseases.

Since late last year, several lenders have filed suit against Liebich or his various organizations, wanting money for loans or rent they allege the organizations didn’t pay.

Liebich could not be reached for comment on Thursday. A recording at his business number at the Charitable Leadership Foundation offices in Clifton Park said the number had been temporarily disconnected.

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