CHARLOTTE, NC–Imagine showing up to work everyday for months… only to be told that you won’t be getting paid. Well, that’s exactly what happened to a few people working at an Allstate insurance agency

For two months, Martha Kissler showed up to work Monday through Friday to help Allstate customers with their insurance policy’s. Kissler says she did various duties like customer service, adjusting rates and managing the front office. 

To her surprise, when payday came, the agency owner, Robert Harden kept giving her and the other employees the run-around. 

Kissler says, “When it was time for that first check, supposedly he was having issues with the payroll company. He said, “you didn’t get this email? You were supposed to blah, blah, blah”, he supposedly was talking to the payroll company and I could hear somebody on the other line so I assumed that it was who he was talking to. It was a whole lot of excuses. It was always something.” 

But, Kissler says, she wasn’t the only employee to not receive a paycheck. She says Marisha Avery also wasn’t getting paid. 

Avery says, “I started on September 7th and then he had every excuse in the book. First he said he lost his debit card in Florida. He would say he’s  working on getting the money back and then one paycheck turns into two and then three. I just can’t, as a single mom, afford to keep working with a person that has no intention of paying me.” 

After two months, Kissler began to get worried that she and her other co-workers  were getting taken advantage of and then Mr. Harden gave them pay stubs to try and convince them that they’d be getting paid soon… 

Kissler says, “In the midst of all his lies, he even produced fake pay stubs to hand us to say this is what’s going to hit your payroll account. Not once, twice, but three times!” 

We tried calling and emailing Mr. Robert Harden on these allegations but he was nowhere to be found. But, this isn’t the first Allstate agency that he’s opened up. Harden opened one in High Point, North Carolina that was permanently closed back in 2020. Kissler says she was aware but didn’t think anything of it. She says, “He didn’t make it sound as if it had anything to do with him and just kind of was because of  the whole COVID situation, I was kind of understanding.” 

After weeks of waiting for a response from Allstate on these allegations, Joyce Buford with their corporate office sent WCCB an email that they were aware and had terminated Harden’s contract. 

Kissler says although Allstate  finally responded, it’s not enough to get her out of the financial bind she’s in. She says, “Not being able to pay my mortgage this month is killing me. Today is my day, now that I’m back in town to have to call my mortgage company and see if they can move this month’s mortgage to next months. I’ve never had to do that in the past eight years I’ve lived here.” 

She says she doesn’t need an apology or sympathy, she just wants what is owed to her, which is more than $10,000 in unpaid wages. 

The single mother of twin daughters, Marisha Avery says because of Mr. Harden’s alleged fraud and negligence, she’s been evicted from her apartment. Avery says the daycare that her twins were going to stopped taking them because she couldn’t pay the center to watch them. Avery calls this whole situation “devastating.”

If you would like to donate to Marisha Avery’s GoFundMe account to help her cover daycare cost and find a new apartment, please click here



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