LUBBOCK, Texas — Skywriter MD, a virtual medical scribe service, terminated as many as 250 employees last Wednesday. At least 40 of those employees were working for the Lubbock Skywriter MD location that opened in 2020. On Tuesday, EverythingLubbock.com met with one of the Lubbock-based employees who lost their jobs.
According to Brianna Alvear, a former clinical implementation specialist for Skywriter MD, the employees received an email saying they no longer had a job with the company and gave them less than 24 hours notice.
“It said..’Dear valued employee, it is with deep regret that I inform you that Skywriter MD Inc. has determined to close its operations and liquidate its business,’” Alvear read from the email she received from CEO Bill Leander.
The employees were given no indication other than subtle hints that the company was closing down and since they received the email, they haven’t had any sort of response from their employers.
Other employees at the company’s College Station and Dallas-Fort Worth locations have also received no responses.
Alvear said after looking back, their continual delayed payments were tenuous clues that could have indicated something was wrong within the company.
“Once a month we would get that email saying, ‘I’m so sorry, payroll is going to be delayed,’” Alvear said.
It’s been over a month since the employees were last paid, meaning there are still many hours of work in which they haven’t been compensated for.
Alvear said many of the employees are struggling and scrambling. She said some are trying to get help from lawyers while others are applying for unemployment and food stamps.
Alvear can’t get to her classes as a student since she has no money for gas.
“Not being paid for a month has really been difficult … I can’t really pay my bills,” Alvear said.
John Osborne, who is the President and CEO of Lubbock Economic Development Alliance said they helped Skywriter MD advertise for jobs when they expanded to Lubbock in 2020. However, they weren’t given notice of the company’s issues either.
Otherwise, Osborn said they could’ve helped the company out before their doors shut if the company had reached out to them.
“Skywriter MD never did meet with us to have conversations about those challenges and where we might be able to assist them,” Osborne said.
According to Osborne, the best way for the former employees to move forward at this point is to take advantage of the plethora of available jobs in Lubbock.
“I feel very confident that the employees that were working for this particular company, if they are interested in remaining in Lubbock and going to work, that there would be plenty of opportunities for them to go to work,” Osborne said.
When EverythingLubbock.com spoke with WorkForce Solutions South Plains, it wasn’t aware of the situation either but said it would get into contact with the Lubbock employees and do what it could to help as well.
Alvear sees that there’s a slim chance she’ll get her payment but said she’s still hoping for some sort of explanation and justice for the way things were done.
“I hope something comes out of it because I fully believe that everyone responsible for this decision should be held accountable,” Alvear said.