Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
DALLAS -- The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit against Lexington Place Assisted Living Homes Inc. in Dallas and company officials for alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime and record-keeping provisions. The suit is based on investigations by the department’s Wage and Hour Division that found the employer had committed willful and/or repeated violations resulting in a total of approximately $40,000 in unpaid overtime compensation owed to 88 caregivers employed at six Dallas locations. Additionally, the division has assessed this employer $20,570 in civil money penalties.
“The Wage and Hour Division previously investigated Lexington Place Assisted Living Homes for similar violations. Despite its commitments to comply with the FLSA, this employer continues to break the law,” said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the division in the Southwest. “These employees worked long hours providing care and assistance for elderly and disabled residents. As demonstrated by the filing of this lawsuit, we are committed to recovering for them the wages they have rightfully earned.”
Investigations conducted by the division’s Dallas District Office found that the company made improper deductions from employees’ wages for lunch periods even when lunch breaks were not taken. Because that work time was not correctly recorded or paid, the employees did not receive proper overtime compensation for all hours worked beyond 40 in a week, as required. Also, several employees were paid “straight time” wages rather than time and one-half their regular rates for hours worked beyond 40 in a week. Finally, the employer failed to maintain accurate records of employees’ wages and work hours as required.
The department’s Regional Office of the Solicitor filed the suit in the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division against the company, General Manager Phillip Metcalf and former General Manager Sean Patrick Dyer. The suit asks the court to order the defendants to pay the full amount of back wages due to affected workers and seeks to have the defendants permanently prohibited from committing future violations of the FLSA.
The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt 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. Employers must maintain accurate time and payroll records.
For more information about federal wage laws, call the Wage and Hour Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or its Dallas office at 817-861-2150. Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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