These men came to the Virgin Islands to make a difference. They were working to rebuild homes. But they didn’t mean to do it for free.
“Had no idea it was going to be like this,” Kris Ray, recovery worker from Tennessee.
Two weeks in, their paychecks stopped. No one knows why, or where the money went.
“They kept trying to reiterate ‘the moneys there. the moneys there’ and then when it’s time to get paid though there was something funny each and every time. We kind of jokingly said if you don’t pay us Friday then there is no work on Saturday turns out we actually had to put our foot down for that,” Ray added.
The men kept waiting for the money to come, but it never did. So they scrambled up whatever cash they could to fly off island. To this day, many haven’t been paid.
Dell Enterprises who employed the workers claimed they were never paid by CMS. CMS said they paid. But a lawyer in the Virgin Islands said, whatever happened to the money the workers, still have to be paid.
“Whether or not Dell actually got the money once they employed these employees they had a duty independent of the federal money to pay the employers for the work they have done and the failure to do so is illegal,” Lee Rohn, Attorney at Lee J. Rohn & Associates said in an interview with CBS USVI News.
Rohn says VI law requires workers to be paid for the work they do. If they’re not, that worker is now entitled to three times as much what they were owed. She said even if the workers are back on the mainland, they should continue to pursue legal action.
“A simple wage and hour lawsuit will get them paid through Dell.”
She added if in fact Dell Enterprises didn’t get paid, they can then go after who didn’t pay them. But Lee says it doesn’t exclude them to liability and responsibility to pay. Until then, these workers are still waiting for their paycheck.
Following this interview and story release Dell Enterprises contacted Kellie Meyer, after she reached out for a response. They said they are seeking legal action against CMS and others.