Lakeland day care files for bankruptcy without paying workers

LAKELAND, Tenn. — Some parents and employees are upset after a day care abruptly closed its doors and filed bankruptcy on payday.

"The person who is most heartbroken is me because not only did I lose my business my job, I lost people who I thought were my friends," owner Lisa Naquin said.

She said overnight her dream went up in smoke — she was forced to close the doors at the business she built, turning clients and workers away.

She said she filed for Chapter 7 Monday but kept the center open and continued to take tuition payments up until Wednesday.

"We found out we were going to be filing on Sunday night around 9:30," said Naquin.

Naquin claims she was hoping to sell the day care and kept that quiet because she did not want to alarm anyone, but she says that deal fell through.

"We had to make the hard decision to just let it go and file bankruptcy."

Sandra Mays worked at the day care just over a year and says the closing came just as they were supposed to get paid.

"If you knew this you could have let us know, told us we are going through changes but trying to work it out so we could have been prepared," she said.

She said filing for bankruptcy on payday without letting anyone know about financial problems just doesn't sit well with her.

"We expected to work and get paid and we did neither."

Naquin showed WREG a text message explaining why she didn't pay her workers, saying her attorney advised her giving out paychecks without the funds could land her in trouble. That has left some workers feeling taken advantage of.

"That's not how the process works, it's like she tricked us, and knowing she may never see the fruits her labor really strikes a nerve."

Through the liquidation process, the employees could get paid, but may not.