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News Brief

Florida Dept. of Corrections to pay 294 health care workers more than $723K in back wages after failing to pay overtime

Employer name: Florida Dept. of Corrections

Investigation site: Prison health units throughout the State of Florida

Investigation findings: Investigators from the department's Wage and Hour Division's Jacksonville District Office found that the Florida Dept. of Corrections violated the overtime provisions of Fair Labor Standards Act. Specifically, the employer failed to pay overtime when some health care workers, such as certified nursing assistants and licensed practical nurse, worked 40 hours for the state and then picked up extra shifts at the same or different prison health care units through one of the prison system's temporary staffing agencies. Some employees worked more than 40 hours at one or more of the prison's facilities through multiple temporary agencies and were not paid overtime.

The health care workers were paid straight time rates for all the hours they worked, instead of receiving time and one half for hours worked beyond 40 in a week, as the law requires. Because the State of Florida was a joint employer with the staffing agencies the state is responsible for paying for all hours worked.

Resolution: The employer has agreed to future compliance with the FLSA and will pay 294 health care workers $723,340 in back wages. Additionally, the employer will inform all of its contractors that they are required to be in compliance with state and federal law, including the FLSA; contractors are not to utilize health care workers for more than 40 hours per week without paying them time and one half their regular rates; and hours worked by an employee at different facilities operated by the state in the same workweek will be combined for the purposes of determining when overtime is due.

Quote: "Generally, when you work for an employer directly, then also perform work for that same employer through a temporary staffing provider, all your hours count together toward overtime. These hard-working health care workers were shorted the overtime they had rightly earned," said Wayne Kotowski, the Wage and Hour Division's regional administrator in Atlanta. "The department will continue its efforts to ensure workers receive a fair day's pay for a fair day's work, and to maintain a level playing field for those businesses that are following the rules."

Wage and Hour Division
November 17, 2015
Release Number
Media Contact: Michael D'Aquino
Media Contact: Lindsay Williams
Phone Number