US Department of Labor recovers $126K for employees after federal court holds Connecticut home healthcare provider in contempt
HARTFORD, CT – The U.S. Marshals Service facilitated the seizure of $126,250 in back wages and liquidated damages and $22,413 in attorney’s fees from the corporate bank account of a New London home healthcare provider after the employers reneged on a payment agreement and defied orders from the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.
The U.S. Department of Labor sued Care at Home and owners Daniel Karp and Suzanne Karp in April 2018 after an investigation by its Wage and Hour Division determined they violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to pay overtime to home healthcare employees and taking improper deductions for food and lodging from employees’ wages.
On Sept. 17, 2021, the court entered a consent judgment ordering the defendants to pay $126,250 in back wages and liquidated damages to 51 employees within 30 days. Previously, on Jan. 7, 2021, the court had ordered defendants to pay $22,413 in attorneys’ fees to the department by Jan. 28, 2021 because of defendants’ actions in the discovery phase of the litigation. In both cases, the defendants failed to make any payments despite the court’s orders and additional notices from the department.
The defendants’ actions led the department to seek and obtain a contempt order against the defendants, fining them $100 per business day until they are no longer in contempt. The department also obtained a writ of execution to authorize removal of the back wages, liquidated damages and attorneys’ fees from the defendants’ corporate bank account. The U.S. Marshals Service carried out the writ at Care at Home’s bank on Dec. 14, 2021. The division will distribute the back wages and liquidated damages to the affected workers.
“The defendants’ failure to pay their workers properly and their repeated refusal to obey court orders are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. The U.S. Department of Labor will not only pursue wages owed to employees up to the point of obtaining a judgment, but also will take appropriate legal steps, when warranted, to hold employers in contempt and seize their assets to satisfy those judgments,” said Regional Solicitor of Labor Maia Fisher in Boston.
“Employers are responsible for ensuring their pay practices comply with federal wage laws and that workers are paid all of the wages that they earn. When employers fail to do so, they risk costly consequences, such as in this case. We encourage employers to contact the Wage and Hour Division to ensure they understand their responsibilities and prevent violations,” said Wage and Hour District Director Donald Epifano in Hartford, Connecticut.
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division. Workers can call the Wage and Hour Division confidentially with questions – regardless of their immigration status – and the department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages.
Walsh v. Care at Home, Daniel Karp and Suzanne Karp
Civil Action No. 3:18-cv-711