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News Brief

US Labor Department investigation reveals Athens Rehab and Senior Care in Alabama failed to pay overtime

Employer paying more than $165K in back wages and damages to 237 workers

Employer name: Best Health LLC, doing business as Athens Rehab and Senior Care

Investigation site: 6111 West Market St, Athens, Alabama 35611

Investigation findings: Investigators from the department's Wage and Hour Division Birmingham District Office found that Athens Rehab violated the overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Specifically, the employer required all employees to report for duty prior to their designated shifts, but used a timeclock system in which employees' time was not counted until the first minute of their scheduled shift start time. Working this unrecorded and unpaid time prior to their shifts resulted in employees working overtime without receiving the time and a half legally due to them. Additionally, the employer incorrectly classified two salaried maintenance employees as "exempt" from overtime.

Resolution: Athens Rehab agreed to comply with the FLSA and agreed to pay 237 employees back wages of $82,595 plus an equal, additional amount in liquidated damages, totaling $165,190. The employer also signed an Enhanced Compliance Agreement.

Quote: "It's unacceptable for an employer to cheat workers out of their hard-earned wages, particularly in an industry where wages tend to be low. Reducing labor costs by shorting workers also places law-abiding businesses at a competitive disadvantage, and violates the principle of a fair and level playing field," said Wayne Kotowski, the Wage and Hour Division's regional administrator in Atlanta. "We will continue to use every tool available to us to ensure that workers receive the wages they have rightly earned and that employers are held accountable."

Info: The FLSA requires that covered, non-exempt 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.

Wage and Hour Division
November 30, 2015
Release Number
Media Contact: Lindsay Williams
Phone Number
Media Contact: Michael D'Aquino