The Tennessee Rapid Response Team will visit Fentress County Friday following the closure of Jamestown Regional Medical Center.
State Representative John Mark Windle said Department of Labor Commissioner Jeff McCord will meet with area residents affected by the closure.
“I’m hopeful that we can work through individual issues, and that’s the first issue is to try and make sure the hard-working people who play by the rules are not disadvantaged by the conduct of criminals,” Windle said. “At the minimum, the State of Tennessee and U.S. government should protect working people against people who will steal their wages.”
Windle was one of three Upper Cumberland lawmakers who penned a letter to the state regarding JRMC’s closure last Thursday. The letter asks officials whether hospital owner Rennova Health Systems filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) prior to the closure.
Windle said several current and former hospital employees have voiced concerns over how taxes were deducted from their wages.
“The taxes were deducted from their paychecks, they just weren’t paid to the federal government,” Windle said. “Therefore, when it was time to receive their tax refunds and pay for their children’s tuition payments, or hospital bills, or mortgage payments, there was no refund because no taxes had been paid.”
Windle has visited with state officials at the Department of Labor this week to discuss what can be done at the hospital.
The Rapid Response Team offers unemployment assistance and resources in the event of a mass layoff or facility closure affecting 50 or more workers. The team will be located at the Fentress County Courthouse in Jamestown from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. Friday.
The Department of Labor issued a statement Wednesday saying they could not confirm if an audit was being conducted against Rennova.