Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
Home health care company in Dallas agrees to pay 80 nurses more than $92,000 in back wages following US Labor Department investigation
DALLAS -- Following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, Acappella In Home Care LLC has agreed to pay more than $92,000 in back wages for failing to pay 80 nurses overtime compensation, as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act. The company was also found in violation of the FLSA’s record-keeping and child labor provisions.
Dallas-based Acappella In Home Care provides in-home and hospital medical care, and skilled nursing services.
“Employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s requirements must ensure that all their workers are employed in age-appropriate positions and are paid properly for all hours, in compliance with federal minimum wage and overtime pay requirements,” said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest. “Acappella nurses worked close to 80 hours a week, providing around-the-clock care for their sick, aged and disabled patients, without being paid any overtime compensation. These nurses made significant personal sacrifices to perform their duties and they deserve fair compensation for all their hard work.”
An investigation by the Wage and Hour Division’s Dallas District Office found that the company’s licensed vocational nurses were often made to work 78 hours in a single workweek but were paid straight time wages, instead of time and one-half their regular rates of pay for hours worked over 40 hours in a week as required by the FLSA. The company also violated child labor provisions of the FLSA by requiring a 15-year-old employee to work more than the permitted three hours on a school day. Additionally, the company failed to keep accurate time and pay records of their minor and adult employees’ work hours, wages and other employment conditions.
The company, owner Jo Alch and Chief Financial Officer Matt Alch have agreed to pay back wages in the amount of $92,196 to 80 employees, and have committed to maintaining future compliance with the FLSA’s overtime, record-keeping and child labor provisions.
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. Employers must also maintain accurate time and payroll records.
The FLSA establishes rules governing child labor. Key provisions prohibit the employment of individuals under age 18 in hazardous nonagricultural occupations. Individuals under age 16 may work only limited hours outside of school hours. Additionally, 14- and 15-year-olds may not work before 7 a.m. or later than 7 p.m., or later than 9 p.m. from June 1 through Labor Day. There are additional restrictions on the types of jobs and hours 14- and 15-year-olds may work.
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 the division’s Dallas District Office at 817-861-2150. Information is also available on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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