Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
BENSALEM, Pa. -- Health Services Group Inc. has paid $265,451 in back wages to 1,971 employees after a U.S. Department of Labor investigation found overtime and recordkeeping violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Because the company had a prior investigative history with the department, it also has been ordered to pay $195,000 in civil money penalties.
Health Services Group provides housekeeping, laundry, linen, facility maintenance and food services to approximately 2,175 establishments in the health care industry, including nursing homes, retirement complexes, rehabilitation centers and hospitals located throughout the country.
The investigation, conducted by the department’s Wage and Hour Division, determined that at some of the company’s establishments, workers were paid time and one-half for any hours worked in excess of 80 hours in a two-week pay period, rather than for hours worked in excess of 40 in a single workweek, as required by law. The company also paid straight time to workers for overtime hours that were worked in one pay period but paid for in a subsequent pay period due to administrative error. Additionally, the company has been cited for failing to maintain the proper records.
“This case shows the importance of multi-establishment employers maintaining full compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act,” said Stewart Bostic, director of the division’s Philadelphia District Office. “What may have seemed like a minor violation when viewed at one location became a much more expansive problem when viewed company-wide. This action should put employers on notice that they cannot avoid their legal responsibilities to pay their employees properly by ignoring the overtime and basic recordkeeping requirements of the FLSA.”
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 of pay, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. The FLSA provides an exemption from both minimum wage and overtime pay for bona fide executive, administrative, professional and outside sales employees. To qualify for exemption, employees generally must meet certain job duty and salary tests. Information about the current exemption can be found at http://www.dol.gov/fairpay.
Information about the FLSA’s requirements may be obtained by calling the Wage and Hour Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at http://www.wagehour.dol.gov. The Wage and Hour Division’s Philadelphia District Office can be reached at 215-597-4950.
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