UPDATE: Kingston retirement home issued court order to refrain from neglecting residents
A court order was issued to the owner of Fairfield Manor East regarding alleged misconduct at his retirement home.
The owner of the Kingston retirement home, Muhammad Quazi, was issued the court order by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice after allegations were made against him for improper care of his residents. This is according to court documents released to CKWS by the Retirement Home Regulatory Authority (RHRA).
In several non-compliance orders found on their website, the regulator has found a number of issues of concern. The court document dated on June 8, orders the Quazi to “refrain from neglecting residents at Fairfield Manor East.”
Qazi has also been asked to “ensure that all staff and/or agents working at Fairfield have the proper skills, qualifications, and training to perform their duties and, in particular, to ensure that at least one staff is capable of administering drugs.”
The retirement home-owner must also keep the retirement regulator updated on any changes to staff, training, and if any residents have been sent to the hospital.
This comes after several other allegations from a number of workers at the home.
Staff members at the Fairfield Manor East allege a number of issues have been plaguing their workplace for several months, affecting them and the quality of care for residents. The allegations include bounced pay cheques, unsafe work conditions and complaints of rent increases for residents. Employee Rana Linden-Wright says she just started at the place two weeks ago, and noticed something was wrong with the staff morale.
“I came here, and heard everyone around me so stressed out, I wanted to do something to help.”
Several workers spoke to us on condition of anonymity, saying the issues have been happening for months. One of them claimed staff are being forced to operate as personal support workers, when they are not even properly trained for the role.
“They don’t get taught how the day is going to go, what you’re supposed to do in the shift and they’re just expected to do it because we don’t have the staff,” said one staff member.
There were also allegations made about food shortages, caused by what staff say is a lack of payment to the food delivery company.
“My biggest concern is the food budget,” one employee claims. “There’s been times we’ve been denied because the bill was not being paid on a regular and timely manner.”
While onsite, staff pointed out several outstanding problems with the building, including a leaking roof, lack of air conditioning in parts of the building, and a hole in the building caused when a car slammed into it. These, among other issues, have remained unfixed according to staff. A number of workers told CKWS these problems have been ongoing, even showing us complaints they had forwarded to the labour board for problems with remuneration.
The Ontario Ministry of Labour confirmed they are looking into six claims against the owner for issues with payment.
“We don’t get paid, he’ll issue said cheque, sometimes he’ll post-date it until either the weekend or that following Monday,” they said.
“That’s wrong, our mortgage payments are bouncing, our bills are piling up. This needs to stop.”
After seeing a story published by CKWS on Wednesday, an employee at another of Qazi’s retirement homes – Fairfield Manor West – has reached out with similar complaints about pay.
She also wanted to protect her identity and says she believes the other employees’ allegations.
“I believe all of them are true, just the way he handled me not getting paid, he didn’t seem very concerned about it.”
David Payne is a resident at Fairfield Manor East, he said he moved into the building nearly two years go. He says he noticed a decline in maintenance around the building and picked up the slack to help out.
“There wasn’t much upkeep of the place, so I basically took over as a maintenance person,” Payne said.
The resident claims the worker quit for non-payment. “The owner didn’t have a maintenance person. The one they had, he quit, because he didn’t get his money after doing his jobs.”
Payne adds he also noticed a huge difference with the home, after the ownership changed hands.
“The place had just gone to the dogs, you could say; everything is just falling apart here. I find that residents aren’t happy.”
CKWS attempted to get a comment from the owner who refused to comment on camera. But he says the allegations are unfounded, and the problems are something that all buildings face.
The owner says he is now consulting with his lawyer regarding the allegations.
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