Connect with us

State News

State investigating unpaid wage claims at Metro Urgent Care – The Denver Post

State investigators are looking into multiple unpaid wage claims filed against Metro Urgent Care after the chain of metro Denver medical clinics abruptly shut down on Aug. 1 and failed to make payroll.

“We have received wage claims for this employer and we have 21 (cases) that are under investigation,” confirmed Cher Haavind, chief communications officer for the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

The Arizona-based company got its start in Colorado in 2016. It operated 14 urgent care clinics across metro Denver but shut half of those down after struggling to meet rent payments.

The remaining seven closed on Aug. 1, causing about 65 people to lose their jobs.

Brendon Lochert, the founder of Metro Urgent Care, told staff in an email that he had failed to secure financing and that they would be immediately out of work.

“This puts us in a horrible position with all employees as we cannot make payroll tomorrow either. This doesn’t mean you will not be getting paid, just means it will take a little time to wind down and get payments out,” he wrote. Efforts to reach Lochert were unsuccessful.

Sara Jaurigui, an area practice manager for Metro Urgent Care who lost her job, estimates the company owes her $7,245 between three weeks of pay, 97 hours of paid time off, unpaid mileage expenses and insurance premiums that were deducted in July but not applied.

She said the company hasn’t provided pay stubs since April and hasn’t forwarded 401(k) contributions to employee retirement plans, which is a violation of federal law. Employees are also trying to find out if the company has made its quarterly tax filings as required.

“As of now, they have not responded to our payment demands,” she said.

Irene Aguilar, a former state senator and physician, has long sounded the alarm that the proliferation of medical facilities this decade in metro Denver would not end well, especially free-standing emergency rooms, which she argued were overcharging patients.

“They oversaturated the market,” she said on hearing about Metro Urgent Care’s speedy unraveling.

Metro Urgent Care operated a location in Broomfield, two in Denver, two in Westminster, one in Lafayette and one in Centennial. Phone numbers at all seven clinics were out of service.

Trending