raynman | Indy Week

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Re: “A local AIDS nonprofit has payment problems with a former employee. How far do the problems go?

Oh Karmen. Are you "Karmen Zjames" - the same coward that sent emails to WRAL and the Indy trying to damage Light? You should come out from the shadows and use your name. Be accountable for your actions. Regarding your first amendment reference, the only thing I've seen that is false or misleading is coming from the organization. But using the amendment in either side is an overreach and shouldn't even be a part of this conversation.

3 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by raynman on 11/20/2015 at 12:28 AM

Re: “A local AIDS nonprofit has payment problems with a former employee. How far do the problems go?

Jackie – according to state law, earned vacation pay DOES indeed have to be paid per the NC Dept. of Labor: “Earned vacation pay, commissions, and bonuses cannot be forfeited unless the employer has a written forfeiture clause in its vacation, commission, or bonus policy or termination policy pursuant to N.C.G.S. 95-25.13(2) of the WHA.” Based on the things this organization has said and the way they have treated him, do you think they would have plans to pay him if this were not the case? Probably not. It is critical to note that according to my understanding, Light remained quiet for one year and gave them ample time to straighten things out. He took the high road but their lack of communication and lack of action left him little choice than to speak out. I think many of us would have done the same. There are two central things that stand out for me. (1) They could’ve avoided this entire thing – the media attention, the backlash on social media, the degraded public image, the decline in volunteers and I’m guessing the decline in private donations – by communicating with Light and treating him respectfully. Instead, they ignored him and disparaged him in the community. (2) It’s clear from this story and accounts from others who are close to it that this organization has yet to take responsibility for its poor decisions and/or even apologize to those it owes money to. This is not about the recession or Randy’s lack of fundraising abilities. If it weren’t for Randy at the helm of their drag bingo events, they would be without the hundreds of thousands of dollars these events raised over the years. Any PR expert knows that if they owned up to their mistakes publicly and apologized to those they have wronged, it would go a long way toward repairing their broken image. In a News and Observer article, the current Board chair blamed “previous management” for their accounting scandal that revealed they had not paid over $200k in taxes but it’s my understanding the current board chair has been involved with the agency for many years, on and off – so doesn’t she and the Board share in the blame? In this article, they point to the recession. It is disgraceful that they blame Light for the decline in funds. As a former volunteer who used to lead events for this organization, I can tell you this is about their reputation and lack of leadership (this article points out that Womble resigned in June 2012 over differences with some board members, which is indicative of the recent history of this group). This organization and its dysfunction has caused a mass exit of financial contributors, donors, and event participants over the years. I have seen it firsthand. If you follow social media, you’ve seen all the stories. I have stories of my own that would make your head spin in terms of things I have seen and heard within this organization. AAS-C does important work for people in need and their services are valuable to our community but how can they be trusted to be good stewards of community funds? Maybe it’s time they step aside and let someone else come forward to fill this need. Any organization or company is only as good as its leadership and this organization was led right into the ground. Randy Light was just another one of their casualties.

6 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by raynman on 11/19/2015 at 4:31 PM

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