West Virginia Nursing Home Operator to Pay $123,680 in Back Wages, Damages After U.S. Department of Labor Investigation
CHARLESTON, WV – The U.S. Department of Labor and a West Virginia nursing home and rehabilitation company have reached an agreement to resolve alleged overtime violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Stonerise Healthcare LLC will pay $61,840 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages to 498 healthcare employees at 16 facilities in West Virginia.
The Department’s Wage and Hour Division investigation found the Charleston-based company failed to include six types of bonus payments in employees’ regular rates of pay when calculating their overtime rates. This exclusion resulted in artificially lowered overtime rates that failed to reflect time-and-a-half of the true amounts employees had earned per hour. Excluded bonuses included those paid for initial sign-on, picking up extra shifts, and good attendance records, among other incentive payments regularly made available to and earned by workers.
“We are committed to ensuring that employees receive the wages they have rightfully earned,” said Wage and Hour District Director John DuMont, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “We are also committed to ensuring that employers who fail to comply with the law do not gain an unfair competitive advantage over those who do.”
The agreement covers Stonerise facilities in Morgantown, Kingwood, Clarksburg, Bridgeport, Parkersburg, Belmont, Berkeley Springs, Keyser, Martinsburg, Charleston, Princeton, Beckley, Rainelle, Lindside, Ronceverte, and Wellsburg.
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 for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Some states have established minimum wage rates that differ from the federal minimum wage. Where federal and state law wage rates differ, the higher standard applies. Employees must also maintain accurate time and payroll records.
The Division is committed to providing employers with the tools they need to assist them – in a variety of languages – in fulfilling their obligation to understand and comply with the variety of laws the Division enforces. It offers useful resources ranging from an interactive E-laws advisor to a complete library of free, downloadable workplace posters. In addition, the Division’s Community Outreach and Resource Planning Specialists conduct ongoing outreach activities to educate stakeholders, including employers, employees, business and labor groups, and professional associations, among others, with accessible, easy-to-understand information about their rights and responsibilities.
For more information about the FLSA and other federal wage laws, call the Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.