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Money to pay Retreat Behavioral Health staff may be limited. Here's why

'They're going to get that money a lot quicker than they're going to see that money on their last paycheck,' Arthur Schofield says
Posted at 6:31 PM, Jun 27, 2024

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Fallout continues from Retreat Behavioral Health as some staff said they still haven't been paid.

The center abruptly closed its doors at the beginning of the week.

"No pay checks, no answers, no nothing. All we want is answers, all we want is our pay," former staff member Cody Snyder said. "Another colleague of mine, she's about to loose her phone bill, her car and can't pay her rent."

Many other staff members have reached out to WPTV, at times speaking anonymously, sharing their concerns about not getting paid.

Thursday our WPTV reporter Joel Lopez spent the day taking those concerns to legal experts on what staff members can do to get their money.

"If one of those staff members happens to be watching, what's your best advice for them?" asked Lopez.

"Go find a lawyer," said labor and employment attorney, Arthur Schofield.

Former Retreat Behavioral Health staff member Cody Snyder June 2024
Former Retreat Behavioral Health staff member Cody Snyder says they haven't been paid for weeks.

Schofield said that it's not an uncommon occurrence for companies to go out of business without paying their staff.

He said one of Retreat's former staff members has already reached out to him

"The sooner they get on that, the better, because typically if there's any assets left, they dissipate over time," said Schofield.

"So, there's a chance this might be a first come first serve situation?" said Lopez.

"Very well could be," said Schofield.

He said the money staff is owed may take a long legal battle and that their best option for now is filing for unemployment.

"Would that be the quickest way for people to start getting some money?" asked Lopez.

Labor and employment attorney Arthur Schofield June 25 2024.png
Labor and employment attorney Arthur Schofield says former Retreat Behavioral Health employees should get a lawyer and file for unemployment.

"Probably, they're going to get that money a lot quicker than they're going to see that money on their last paycheck," said Schofield.

There's also the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act which, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, helps ensure advance notice in cases of plant closings and mass layoffs.

It helps employers understand their rights and responsibilities under the provisions of WARN.

"Does the WARN act ever get enacted if somebody shuts down abruptly?" asked Lopez.

"If the company just goes out of business, because it just suddenly has crashed, for whatever reason, then the WARN notice is not going to give them much relief, then there's nothing to collect from presumably," said Schofield.