Pros: met some wonderful people and families while working for them
Cons: zero respect or concern for their employees or their safety & well-being
9 years and 1 day ago, I went to work as I had for months. My first client of the day was difficult to transfer and we were waiting for the delivery of the doctor-ordered hoyer lift. During yet another difficult transfer, I was injured. The client was safe, but it was at the cost of my body.
From the moment I called and told my supervisor I was hurt and needed to leave, I was treated with even less respect than I was already being given. When I was seen in the ER and put off work, I hand-delivered the form to the office - and was treated coldly. My life ended that day, in many ways.
My 9 year old child had to become MY caregiver, because there are STILL days that I cannot dress myself completely - he is now 18. In many ways, working for Gentiva destroyed his life too. He has to do most of the household jobs because I cannot. There are days he has to help me get out of bed - but I "don't qualify" for home health care because I am not receiving disability.
I was railroaded through the worker's compensation system, their insurance provider to date has not complied with the court order as to what they are to provide me, and even filing paperwork for a review has been fruitless because of the "big backlog".
Someone at the Lawton Gentiva office felt it necessary to start my claim for fmla without consulting me during the time I was off work and fighting their insurance provider to be able to see a surgeon. It took me NINE MONTHS before I saw a surgeon (and even then it had to be ordered by a judge and I had to prove WHY I needed to see them instead of just – more... a physical therapist), and as a result I have permanent nerve damage in my leg and foot because the nerve root was pinched for so long prior to surgery.
I cannot get Social Security Disability, because some brilliant person at Gentiva claims I worked for weeks after my injury, which negates my claim that the injury is as severe as it is. When asked on applications when my end date of employment was for Gentiva, I honestly have no idea. Is it the date I was injured? The date of the final court hearing? The last day of the FMLA? Tried to call the office and was hung up on.
I had money taken from my checks for shares in the company, but when I tried to call the number I had years ago to find out how to cash out, I was told that there was no record of my having ever been in the program - so where did my money go?
I was driving over 100 miles a day because of their scheduler's inability to keep me in one area of the very rural county. Not that there were not enough clients in my home area - they had other workers from 30mi away coming up to my home area to care for clients that I could have while I was going to their home area to work with other clients. Financially, the fuel cost was slowly draining what little I had saved up. When I asked to be kept closer to home, I was told I could not choose where I worked, I went where they scheduled me or could look for another job.
They paid "travel time" at $6/hr - NOT mileage. I saved all my time sheets and had them with for the final hearing for my Worker's Compensation case - even the lawyer representing them and their insurance company questioned how legal this was. Even the judge questioned the legality of the practice. It was because of this method of paying that I was underpaid for about 18 months - their insurance did not calculate travel time as wages, and it was.
There was (maybe still is) a fund that employees can donate to to help a fellow employee who is having a financial hardship. Due to the loss of my income (and the insurance company insisting they knew the proper amount for my weekly checks - which was off by almost $40 a week) my son and I became homeless and were living in my car because there were no openings at area shelters. I applied to the fund in hopes of getting a little help with deposit/first month rent on a 1 bedroom place I could make work out of the weekly checks and was informed that I "was not an employee". Really? I had been going to work for clients they contracted to care for, I had been paid by their company for my hours I spent caring for those clients, but I was not an employee?
My body has been through countless injections, therapies, surgery, procedures just to keep me functioning enough to make sure my son made it to adulthood - that had become my goal. My health is deteriorating due to the years of certain medications and procedures with no alternatives available. Slowly, Gentiva's negligence is killing me, and because of the Oklahoma Worker Compensation laws, I have no legal recourse other than keep filing review requests for my case. My biggest fear is that I won't live long enough and my son will have lost not only his childhood but his only parent as well. But why should Gentiva care? Their backs turned the moment I was no longer at their beck and call to be abused and sent hither and yon with sometimes only a few minutes' notice.
Where was Gentiva? Where were my supervisors? Using my case as an example of "wrong judgement" during their training sessions. I had multiple former co-workers inform me of this when they would run into me (usually in a hospital or picking up medication) According to my supervisor, I should have let the patient hit the floor.... and his wheelchair... and his recliner. How's that for caring home care?
Seriously, if you want to work for this company, do so cautiously and because there are no other options. What you are promised on hire is not what you get. Use your voice to protect yourself, because they will chew you up and spit you out if you don't - and won't give it a second thought. – less