Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
CHICAGO -- The Renaissance at South Shore nursing home and rehabilitation facility in Chicago has paid 295 workers a total of $138,075 following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division, which found back wages owed due to violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act's overtime provisions. The department also has assessed $62,480 in civil money penalties because of the repeat nature of the violations.
"One of the most common violations in the residential care industry is the failure of employers to properly pay for all hours worked," said Thomas Gauza, the Wage and Hour Division's district director in Chicago. "Caregivers work long hours and often make significant personal sacrifices to provide around-the-clock care for their clients. These workers deserve to be paid properly, and the resolution of this case should remind other employers that the Labor Department will not hesitate to investigate and take action if they deny workers their rightful pay."
The investigation determined that the Renaissance at South Shore failed to pay employees for hours they worked beyond their scheduled shifts and overtime compensation at time and one-half regular rates for hours exceeding 40 in a week. Additionally, the company automatically deducted 30-minute meal periods from employees' work hours, regardless of whether the employees actually received breaks. Finally, bonuses and shift differentials were not included in employees' regular rates of pay for overtime calculation purposes, as required. The violations impacted employees from various departments, including nursing, dietary, housekeeping, activities and administrative staff.
This investigation was the Wage and Hour Division's second of the facility. The first investigation, in 2009, disclosed similar overtime violations, resulting in the recovery of $5,041 in back wages for 39 employees. The company has prepared a plan of correction to address the current violations and ensure compliance in the future.
Renaissance at South Shore is a 248-bed skilled nursing facility that offers services including short-term rehabilitation, specialized dementia care, and long-term and hospice care. It is managed by NuCare Service Corp. of Lincolnwood.
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 in a seven-day 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) or visit http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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