Employees Upset After For-Profit-College Anthem Education Closes

Career College Central Summary:

  • For 12 years, Michael Schwam worked throughout Florida for Anthem Education, a for-profit college.
  • But this spring, he knew "something was wrong, big-time."
  • Students on campus were telling the regional vice president there were no books available for their classes.
  • A student complained about taking a hair-coloring class where there was no supplies to color hair.
  • "I saw the bills piling up at the campuses I was in charge of," Schwam says.
  • After the company missed payroll one day this spring, he quit.
  • Then, in August, the company laid off hundreds of employees and filed for bankruptcy.
  • Schwam and others are saying they've lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in the company's deferred compensation program, and now, 21 former Anthem employees have filed a class-action proceeding alleging they were improperly let go.
  • Schwam says, he doubts he has much chance of recovering the $346,000 that he had in a deferred compensation plan.
  • "It's like Enron," he says. Another high-level exec said he lost $200,000 in the plan and might try to recover that money by filing as a creditor in the bankruptcy case.
  • Additionally, 21 former employees from the Fort Lauderdale headquarters and the Lauderdale Lakes campus say the company failed to give them 60 days' notice that their jobs would be terminated, as required by federal law for companies with more than 100 employees.
  • They are asking for wages and vacation pay in a class-action proceeding filed through the bankruptcy court.

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