(CMR) Royale Medical Wellness Center Ltd. appeared in court last week for failing to pay one of its doctors her monthly wages. It was revealed through the investigation leading up to the criminal charges that Dr. Tameka Irons had not received her agreed-upon salary for the entire duration of her employment with the medical facility.
Her pay was always short or late as Royale Medical decided to pay her in installments instead of in accordance with the terms of the employment contract.
She revealed in her complaint that from the onset of her employment in January 2021, she never once received her full month's salary. Instead, the director of the facility, Kirk Donald, would pay her piecemeal in random installments of CI$1,000.00. She had agreed to an employment contract that included a salary of CI$10,000 per month to be paid at the end of each month.
During her tenure, she brought her concerns to Donald when she found that she was unable to pay her bills. At one stage, in November 2021 she emailed Donald stating that she had no gas, no cash and no available credit to pay her rent or pay for food. Despite her desperate pleas, he continued to not pay her full salary.
Eventually, she filed a complaint with the Department of Labour and Pensions (DLP) and resigned from her job after completing only one year.
When DLP got involved, Donald promised that he would pay her outstanding salary arrears of CI$7,088.94. Dr. Irons decided not to pursue overtime or vacation payments that she was owed.
In January 2022 Donald deducted CI$437.49, claiming that she has arrived late or left early on several occasions.
Then on February 28, 2022, he sent an email agreeing to pay the outstanding fees and settle by removing the deduction for tardiness and early departures. However, he did not honor his agreement and by March 20, the matter was sent to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for criminal prosecution.
It is a criminal act to not pay wages, and they charged the facility under section 31(1)(a) of the Labour Act (2021 Revision) and sections 28, 29 and 30 of the Act. He provided the DLP with proof of payments issued to cover outstanding car payments, but none of the salary arrears had yet been paid.
On Tuesday, July 26 Donalds appeared before Magistrate Foldats and agreed once again that he would pay the outstanding money. The Crowne agreed to withdraw the charges and the matter was dismissed, with Royale ordered to pay a $500 court costs fine.