Branson nurse fighting for quarantine pay after returning from crisis deployment in New Orleans
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -
A nurse from Branson just wants the money she says she’s owed. She’s been back from quarantine for more than two months now, but the company that hired her says it won’t pay a dime for that time.
Make no mistake, Staci Lundeen doesn’t regret the work she did in Louisiana this spring.
”I’m not here to badmouth Krucial, it’s a mammoth undertaking what they did,” Lundeen said.
She signed up with Krucial Staffing to spend nearly a month treating patients in hard-hit New Orleans as coronavirus cases spiked this spring. Lundeen was under the impression Krucial would pay her if she needed to quarantine upon returning home to Missouri.
”Then, all of the sudden on April 17, I had been there working for 19 days, they sent out a text that then said you’ll be paid quarantine pay if your state mandates that you be quarantined,” Lundeen said.
She said Taney County’s Health Department told her over the phone to stay home for 14 days. Lundeen never signed a contract with Krucial, but claims she was verbally told 40 hours of quarantine pay was guaranteed each week she was quarantined.
”All I am really asking for is what they agreed to pay me before I left home," she said.
KY3 asked Bolivar attorney Jay Kirksey if Lundeen has legal grounds to stand on. He said Missouri does recognize an oral contract and laws prevent one party from backing out if the other, in this case Lundeen, upholds her end.
”It is not the verbal agreement that we had before I ever got on the plane to go to New Orleans,” Lundeen said about the new payment qualifications.
Emails Lundeen provided between other nurses who work for Krucial show a couple of key details: The first guaranteed pay, with no contingencies. The next from a month later says, “We told you you would receive quarantine pay shortly before we were informed otherwise.”
Kirksey said those emails back up Lundeen’s claim. Lundeen said she doesn’t want a lawsuit. She regrets not getting confirmation in writing, but thinks Krucial needs to stand by its word.
”It’s a matter of principle that if they said they were going to do something it was a verbal agreement they need to be held accountable to do it," she said.
Krucial Staffing emailed KY3 back after we asked them to comment. The company said everyone was too busy to comment.
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