U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Tennessee Senior Living Facility Paying $91,727 in Back Wages, Damages, and Penalties
HENDERSONVILLE, TN – Hearth Management LLC – the operator of a senior living and memory care facility in Hendersonville, Tennessee – has paid $81,008 in back wages and liquidated damages to 38 employees after a U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigation determined the employer violated overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The employer also paid a $10,719 civil money penalty for repeated violations.
WHD investigators found that Hearth Management LLC – operating as The Hearth at Hendersonville – deducted time from employees' timecards for meal breaks even when they worked through those breaks. These practices resulted in overtime violations when this unpaid time occurred in workweeks longer than 40 hours and the employees remained unpaid for this time. Investigators also found the facility failed to include on call and other non-discretionary bonuses when calculating employees' overtime rates. Excluding these amounts from the calculation, and basing overtime only on employees' hourly base rates led the employer to pay overtime at rates lower than those the law requires. The employer's failure to keep accurate records of the number of hours employees worked also resulted in an FLSA recordkeeping violation.
"The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to ensuring a level playing field for operators of these facilities and guaranteeing that employees receive the wages they legally earned," said Wage and Hour Division District Director Nettie Lewis, in Nashville, Tennessee. "We encourage all employers to reach out to us for assistance and to use the variety of tools we offer to ensure that their pay practices comply with federal law."
The Department offers numerous resources to ensure employers have the tools they need to understand their responsibilities and to comply with federal law, such as online videos, confidential calls, or in-person visits to local WHD offices.
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Employers who discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program. Information is also available at https://www.dol.gov/whd.