College Students Not Paid

(WSVN) - College kids on summer break … and instead of goofing off, they got jobs to make money for this school year’s expenses. Great idea — except they are heading back to school without that money because they didn’t get their paychecks, so they turned to Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

Antoine is heading back to Trinity Bible College in North Dakota.

Antoine Vesey, needs money for college: “It’s a great environment, great people.”

Shardreka is at FAMU in Tallahassee.

Shardreka Bailey, waiting for paychecks: “Yes, criminal justice.”

Wanya goes to Florida A&M.

Wanya Clarington, worked summer job: “I needed money to go back to school.”

It’s not a secret — every college student needs spending money for school.

Wanya Clarington: “Gas money, my food expenses, my housing, my rent.”

Shardreka Bailey: “To help pay for my schooling and because I don’t receive aid, paying out of pocket.”

Antoine Vesey: “The cheapest flight I’ve had since I’ve been to that school is $400.”

Fortunately, all three students found a job this summer at Sweet Vine. So did 12 other college kids and a few adults like Shuontay, who needed the money for her children.

Shuontay Campbell: “I have kids, and I need to get them ready for the school year!”

Unfortunately, Shuontay and all the college students all have one thing in common — they can’t get paid.

Wanya Clarington: “She owes me $3,120.”

Jaqueline Clark, wants her paycheck: “I have a child, so I have to be upset.”

Shuontay Campbell: “She owes me $2,500.”

Sweet Vine is a non-profit camp for 200 kids, funded by a variety of organizations, but all the money didn’t make it to the people working at the camp.

Shardreka Bailey: “When you confront her, she says, ‘I promise to God I’m going to keep my word. Y’all going to get your money.'”

Jaqueline Clark: “She still making excuses.”

Summer break is now over. The 15 students who worked at the camp didn’t get the money they earned, the money they needed.

Antoine Vesey: “I’m extremely upset because it’s hard enough to make money. Now when you are out there doing labor, and you don’t get paid — OK, what is going on?”

Shardreka Bailey: “I’m just devastated. I just need my money.”

Well Howard, altogether the students are owed money by the non-profit that gets their funds from various organizations. Does that change the rules about getting paid?

Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “No, it does not. Since the non-profit hired them, they have to pay them, and they have to pay them in a timely manner. And if you don’t have the grants or funding, the non-profit or possibly the owner herself is responsible for their paychecks.”

Tonnette Collier, runs camp: “Our primary funder is the Children’s Fund who has been very generous to us.”

She says the students have not been paid because she has not been given the money from the children’s trust to pay the salaries.

Tonnette Collier: “We are not these big, giant organizations that got donors pouring unrestricted dollars, no.”

But the Children’s Trust told us, as part of their agreement, Collier has to pay the students from her account, they then reimburse her for the salaries.

Collier says because of budget problems, she couldn’t pay the students upfront, meaning she won’t get reimbursed for the salaries owed to these kids, but she says she will find a way to pay them.

Tonnette Collier: “I have to take a loss, but at the end of the day, I want to satisfy them. I want them to get their money. I want to move on, and I wish them well.”

The kids are back at their campuses now, preparing for school, hoping to hear good news from home.

Wanya Clarington: “I honestly … I just want to get paid and not see anyone go through what I went through again.”

Now the mother of one of the students in our story doesn’t have much hope of the students getting those paychecks, so she has started a GoFundMe page to help them raise the money. And if your employer has not paid you, Miami-Dade, Broward and the Federal Government can all help you get your paychecks.

The link to get that help and the GoFundMe page for the students can be found below.

Getting educated on a problem that’s testing your patience? Ready for us to check into it? Contact us. Hopefully we can help you cash in. With this Help Me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser 7News.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Go Fund Me to Help Students Get Their Money
https://www.gofundme.com/to-help-the-college-kids

Wage Recovery Complaints
Broward County
http://www.broward.org/Intergovernmental/Pages/WageRecoveryInBroward.aspx

Miami Dade County
http://www.miamidade.gov/business/wage-theft.asp

US Dept of Labor
https://www.dol.gov/whd/faq_workers.htm

 

CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:
Email: helpmehoward@wsvn.com
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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