Winston-Salem Company Now Under Investigation
Posted on Dec 29, 2017
The North Carolina Insurance Department is currently investigating the reason 109 employees lost their health coverage insured by Alpha Aluminum LLC. The plant in Winston-Salem shut down in July of 2016. According to the Winston-Salem Journal, there was "no voluntary WARN Act wage-and-benefit filing." The article further explains how Gamba and Hoyt, the co-operators of Alpha Aluminum LCC., may have obtained illegal money for health insurance payments collected after the policies had been canceled.
Although investigators know these allegations could lead to federal charges, Barry Smith of the Insurance Department said, 'officials "are still early in the [investigation] process. We don't want to speculate on where it will lead.'"
Employees are being asked to send copies of their pay statements which will reveal what funds were removed. Evans and Harold Neal, two former employees, claimed they were unaware their insurance coverage had been terminated until they attempted to fill their prescriptions. After learning their plans had been canceled without a notice, Evans filed a complaint with insurance officials. He also filed a complaint with N.C. Labor Department in pursuit of reimbursement for six weeks wages for the missing health insurance benefits.
Upon investigations, officials have determined that more than $71,000 in wages and benefits was not given to 28 employees. These missing amounts of benefits range from $1,000-$5,615.
On April 10, the insurance department of Alpha Aluminum closed the cases of unpaid benefits without resolving the problem. Alpha Aluminum did not pay back the lost wages and benefits they owed their employees.
Officials state that if a former employee now wants to receive their lost wages, they must file a federal lawsuit to "assert [their] WARN rights."