Senior Care facility closes its doors, employees allege owner owes thousands

Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 7:50pm

A senior home care business has shut its doors -- leaving hundreds unemployed -- and dozens of clients without answers. Home Instead closed Monday, and according to one former employee, without warning.

Home Instead has helped thousands of seniors in El Paso -- since they first opened their doors back in 2003. They're closed - shutting out not only their clients -- but also their 260 employees.

"It has impacted over, I would say, over at least 2,000 lives,” the person said. A former employee -- who asked us to disguise their voice and face -- tells us they found out about the closure through this letter --
"It really came out of the blue there was not a lot of notice."

The employee claims, not even the owner, Paul Petersen told them they would lose their jobs on February 24th, "The closure of the office came with very little notice there was not a lot of time for anybody to react."

And employees say -- it doesn't stop there. They claim Petersen owes thousands of dollars to former home instead employees, their families and other borderland businesses "The money loaned to him was intended to be used for company purposes…. And it's unclear whether that was truly the situation."

We got a hold of Petersen over the phone -- he says all of the claims against him are untrue and the business closed due to professional reasons, "Nothing that was fraudulent, nothing that was bad, it was just a decision between corporate and myself to not be in a relationship anymore,” Paul Petersen says.

He adds -- he'll make good on his promises. "People that are owed money will be paid by a timely manner."

But when we asked him for an exact date, "At this point I can't give a timeline."

As for ex-employees, they say at least they were given their last paycheck, "Luckily the only beauty in this is that we have a company who does our payroll,” the former employee says.

A letter sent to employees refers them to three other home care agencies in el Paso that may have employment opportunities. As far the clients -- they are also being referred to those three agencies.


Reader Comments

In an attempt to get my own information about the company I hired to care for my ailing parent, I found a Paul Petersen with a tax lien issued against him a few months ago. It is public record. I did not receive notice until I got a letter from WestStar bank stating to send all outstanding payments to them. I cannot confirm whether this is even a legitimate request. Even if it is legitimate, Home Instead actually owes my elderly parent money since we had a credit balance with Home Instead!

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