News Brief

US Department of Labor files complaint seeking back wages, damages for case managers denied overtime by North Central Health Care

Employers:    North Central Community Services Program and Affiliatesoperating as North Central Health Care in Wausau, Wisconsin

Action:           Complaint filing

Court:             U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin 

Court action: Alleging overtime and recordkeeping violations, the U.S. Department of Labor filed a complaint in federal court on May 14, 2024after an investigation by the Wage and Hour Division found case managers employed by North Central Community Services Program and Affiliates community treatment program were working unrecorded overtime hours. 

Operating as North Central Health Care, the Wausau-based medical care partnership between Marathon, Lincoln, and Langlade counties offers a variety of public health services, such as community treatment services, mental health care, substance abuse treatment and youth crisis care.

Investigators interviewed employees and examined pay records from June 17, 2021, through June 16, 2023, and found current and former case managers reported off-the-clock work, a heavy case load, and reluctance or refusal from management to approve the overtime necessary to complete their work. 

North Central Health Care established a policy requiring case managers to seek approval for overtime but, in practice, refused to approve overtime, in part, by refusing to answer phone calls from case managers seeking that approval. The company also allegedly failed to address case manager complaints about unreasonable workload, resulting in undocumented overtime as case managers struggled to meet productivity requirements. 

The complaint seeks back wages, liquidated damages and an injunction against the employer from violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. 

Quote: “These case managers continued to go above and beyond to service the needs of their clients, while their employer refused to hear their complaints and pay them the wages they rightfully earned for their hard work and dedication,” said Wage and Hour District Director Kristin Tout in Minneapolis. “Employers are legally responsible for knowing and complying with federal wage laws.”

Background: In fiscal year 2023, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division recovered more than $31.8 million in back wages for workers in the healthcare industry nationwide.

 Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division and how to file an online complaint. For confidential compliance assistance, employees and employers can call the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243), regardless of where they are from.

Download the agency’s new Timesheet App for iOS and Android devices – also available in Spanish –to ensure hours and pay are accurate.

United States Department of Labor v. North Central Community Services Program and Affiliates operating as North Central Health Care

Civil Action No. 3:24-cv-00320-wmc

Office of the Solicitor
May 14, 2024
Release Number
Media Contact: Scott Allen
Phone Number
Media Contact: Rhonda Burke
Phone Number
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