Low-Wage Workers Are Being Sued for Unpaid Medical Bills by a Nonprofit Christian Hospital That Employs Them
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Low-Wage Workers Are Being Sued for Unpaid Medical Bills by a Nonprofit Christian Hospital That Employs Them

Wendi C. Thomas |
June 28, 2019

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare has sued many of its own employees over unpaid medical bills and garnishes their wages; its health care plan prevents them from going to competitors with better financial assistance.


MEMPHIS, Tennessee — This year, a Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare housekeeper left her job just three hours into her shift and caught a bus to Shelby County General Sessions Court.

Wearing her black and gray uniform, she had a different kind of appointment with her employer: The hospital was suing her for unpaid medical bills.

In 2017, the nonprofit hospital system based in Memphis sued the woman for the cost of hospital stays to treat chronic abdominal pain she experienced before the hospital hired her.

She now owes Methodist more than $23,000, including around $5,800 in attorney’s fees.

It’s surreal, she said, to be sued by the organization that pays her $12.25 an hour. “You know how much you pay me. And the money you’re paying, I can’t live on,” said the housekeeper, who asked that her name not be used for fear that the hospital would fire her for talking to a reporter.

Credit by - Pro Publica

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