ATLANTA - The valets who park cars at Atlanta’s VA Medical Center are out thousands of dollars after the contractor who hired them has not paid them for a month of work.
The workers said they were loyal to the contracting company, Phoenix Rise, but they feel abandoned. They have not been paid in weeks and the company’s owner has vanished.
Lekeisha Osbie is not sure how she is going to make ends meet right now.
“I am destroyed by this, I am,” Osbie said. “I have four kids. My rent, my lights.”
For 18 months, Osbie worked for Phoenix Rise, a valet company that provided contracted service to the Atlanta VA Medical Center.
She was among about a dozen workers who got paid once a month, until last week. That’s when the company’s owner, Sylvalia Satterfield, told workers by phone their pay would be delayed until Monday because of a clerical error on behalf of the hospital.
One week later, the employees said they still have not seen a dime.
Aarone Looney said his driver’s license has been suspended over recent missed child support, even though the money had been taken out of his last two checks.
The phone number for Satterfield has been disconnected. He is no longer at the office address listed online. Records show Satterfield has served time for forgery.
“The Atlanta VA Medical Center has fully met its financial obligations to Phoenix Rise. We regret that this unfortunate situation has disrupted the lives of all the hard-working and dedicated employees involved,” a VA Medical Center spokesman said in a statement.
The workers said they have learned that the valet service was going away next month. They fear the owner decided to pull out early and take their money with him.