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Press Releases

U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
Release Number: 11-44-CHI

Date: 

Jan. 26, 2011

Contact: 

Scott Allen - Rhonda Burke

Phone: 

312-353-6976 - 312-353-6976

US Department of Labor investigation recovers more than $67,000 in back wages for Minnesota-based Genesis Group Homes caregivers


LORETTO, Minn. -- The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered $67,140 in back wages for 17 residential caregivers of Genesis Group Homes Inc. who were denied compensation for overtime hours worked, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Genesis Group Homes Inc. operates homes for individuals with mental and/or physical disabilities in Champlin, Loretto, Maple Grove and Brooklyn Park, Minn.

“One of the most common ‘wage and hour’ violations in the residential care industry is the failure of employers to properly record hours of work, which often leads to not compensating workers correctly,” said Jose Medina, district director of the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division in Minneapolis, Minn. “Residential caregivers work long hours and often make significant personal sacrifices in order to provide around-the-clock care for their sick, aged, mentally ill or physically disabled clients. These workers deserve to be paid properly, and the resolution of this case should remind employers that the department will not hesitate to investigate if they deny workers their rightful pay.”

An investigation by the Wage and Hour Division determined that Genesis Group Homes and its owners, Jay Freshour and Faith Freshour, violated the FLSA when the company failed to pay workers time-and one-half their regular rates of pay for hours worked over 40 in a week. After conducting employee interviews and reviewing time and payroll records, investigators found that many employees were made to work 96 hours in a pay period before receiving overtime compensation. Additionally, many caregivers did not receive any type of overtime compensation.

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 hourly rates of pay, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Alternatively, employees of hospitals and residential care facilities may be paid time and one-half for hours worked over eight per day or after 80 hours per two week pay period, as long as they have that agreement with their employers. The FLSA also requires that employers maintain accurate time and payroll records.

For more information about the FLSA and other federal wage laws, call the Wage and Hour Division’s Chicago District Office at 312-596-7230 or call the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov/whd.

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U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at (202) 693-7828 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America’s employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.