Erickson Retirement: Pay the severance money
Today's column is about 91 folks who were laid off from Erickson Retirement last year and promised severance payments, vacation-time payments and other money that they never got. The payments got hung up in the bankruptcy process, which is normal. What's not right is that Erickson and its creditors have neglected to press the bankruptcy judge for permission to make the severance payments. More than three months have gone by since the bankruptcy filing, and nobody will even tell these folks what's happening.
They're in tough shape -- without a job and then without even the compensation they were supposed to get for being laid off. They didn't seek publicity. I found their names in court papers and called them up. Most were hesitant about talking on the record. And most of them still have great things to say about Erickson. But, to be blunt, they were screwed by the bankruptcy process. Pressure needs to be put on the company and the other people involved in the bankruptcy to pay them the money.
UPDATE: Thanks to William Brattain for telling his story and allowing himself to be photographed. He doesn't have much to gain by going public; if he files for bankruptcy anything he eventually gets from Erickson will probably go to his creditors. But he said he wanted to talk about it for the sake of others in the same boat.