Former Employees Say Borders Bouncing Paychecks

Company says a small number of employees affected, will be reimbursed for bank fees

By Kim Vatis
|  Friday, Feb 18, 2011  |  Updated 9:45 PM CDT
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Former Employees Say Borders Bouncing Paychecks

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Just days after word came that thousands of Borders Group employees would lose their jobs, many of them are reporting that their last paychecks from the company are bouncing.

"It's hitting me pretty hard. I mean, I don't have a job. I have bills. It's really scary right now. You know, jobs are hard to come by, so I'm a little freaked out," said 25-year-old Lauren Schara.

Schara worked as a barista in a Borders store in Merrillville, Ind., one of six in that state that are set to close by the end of April.

Her bounced payroll check caused an overdraft which triggers a $35 fee each day the account is without sufficient funds.

The company said Friday that it's aware of the problem, but said that only a small fraction of its 13,000 employees are affected. According to the company, the payroll checks were issued prior to Wednesday's bankruptcy filing.

"The situation has been rectified and employees are being paid in the most expeditious manner and reimbursed for any bank fees incurred," said a statement from Mary Davis, a company spokeswoman.

Schara said she doesn't know how much of that to believe.

"I was blindsided when we were laid off. I was blindsided by my check bouncing," she said.

Borders said it plans to close about 200 stores in the next few weeks, including several in the Chicago area. The 40-year-old company has long struggled to stay out of the red as online bookstores and eBooks became more popular.

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