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Nursing home staffing agency ordered to pay more than $636K in back wages to at least 150 direct care staff at 10 New Jersey nursing homes
HACKENSACK, N.J. — A federal judge has ordered Broadway Healthcare Management LLC and its owner, Michael Konig, to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in denied overtime pay plus an additional amount in interest to at least 150 direct care staff who worked at 10 nursing homes throughout New Jersey.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division found that the Hackensack staffing agency stiffed workers out of overtime pay, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. An investigation in 2008 led to a consent judgment that ordered payment of back wages, and prohibited the company from violating the FLSA in the future.
The department's most recent investigation showed that the company ignored the consent agreement and committed the same violations — actions that resulted in a contempt finding from the court and an order to pay $636,410 in back wages to the workers.
"Despite signing a consent judgment that prohibited FLSA violations, Broadway Healthcare and Konig made no attempt to comply. As a result, hundreds of workers who devoted themselves to caring for loved ones were not paid the overtime they earned," said Mark Watson, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division. "The court's decision sends a strong message to employers: when they fail to pay workers their hard-earned wages, and when they don't take consent judgments seriously, we will use all available legal means to hold them accountable."
During subsequent investigations, the division found that Broadway Healthcare Management violated the FLSA and the earlier consent judgment when it contracted with payroll company Prime Services/D.S. Inc., of Brooklyn, New York, to avoid paying overtime wages.
Nurses employed at nine of the 10 New Jersey locations received separate paychecks for overtime workweeks — one from Broadway and one from Prime Services — neither of which included legally due overtime pay for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Prime Services did not actually employ any of the affected workers. Broadway also failed to pay nursing staff for certain hours worked beyond the end of their shifts. Additionally, the employer failed to include shift differentials and bonuses in employees' regular rates when computing overtime pay. The department filed a motion for a back wage award in August 2015.
Broadway Healthcare Management was also ordered to pay $97,388 to reimburse the department for investigation and legal costs.
Violations were found at the following New Jersey locations:
- Manhattanview Nursing Home, Union City.
- Teaneck Nursing Center, Teaneck.
- Amboy Care Center, Perth Amboy.
- Providence Nursing Center and Royal Health Gate, Trenton.
- Oceana Rehabilitation & Nursing Center, Cape May.
- Shore Meadows Rehabilitation & Nursing Center, Toms River.
- South Jersey Extended Care, Bridgeton.
- Manahawkin Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Manahawkin.
- Sterling Manor, Maple Shade.
The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers also must maintain accurate time and payroll records. The FLSA provides that employers who violate the law are liable to employees for their back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages.
The Wage and Hour Division's Northern and Southern New Jersey District Offices conducted the investigations. Susan Jacobs of the department's regional Office of the Solicitor in New York litigated the case. Workers who believe they may be owed back wages from this employer are encouraged to use the Workers Owed Wages system, or call the Wage and Hour Division's Northern New Jersey District Office at 908-317-8611 for more information.