Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
ELK RIVER, Minn. -- The U.S. Department of Labor has found $274,884 in back wages due to 61 home health care workers in Elk River after an investigation of Accurate Home Care by the Wage and Hour Division discovered overtime and minimum wage violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
“Workers in the home health care industry provide an important service to the community. They deserve to be paid properly for all hours that they work,” said Karen Chaikin, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the Midwest. “The resolution of this case should remind employers that the Labor Department will not hesitate to follow up if they deny workers their rightful pay.”
The investigation determined that the company violated minimum wage regulations by requiring employees to work without pay in order to make up hours from previous weeks. The investigation also disclosed overtime violations when licensed practical nurses were paid “straight time” rates, without an overtime premium, for hours worked over 40 in a week. For some LPNs, the employer banked “comp time” hours at straight time rates, providing time off in subsequent workweeks, rather than paying the required time-and-one-half for the overtime hours.
The company has agreed to comply with all areas of the FLSA in the future.
Accurate Home Care operates two residential nursing facilities in Elk River, where the company is based. It also has locations in Moline and Peoria, Ill.
The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. In general, “hours worked” includes all time an employee must be on duty, or on the employer’s premises or at any other prescribed place of work, from the beginning of the first principal work activity to the end of the last principal activity of the workday. Additionally, the law requires that accurate records of employees’ wages, hours and other conditions of employment be maintained.
For more information about the FLSA and other federal wage laws, call the Wage and Hour Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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