Nursing Care Facilities Pay $261,418 in Back Wages, Penalties, and Damages After U.S. Department of Labor Investigation
PROVIDENCE, RI – After a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigation, three Rhode Island nursing care facilities have paid $192,622 in back wages and liquidated damages to 89 employees to resolve violations of the overtime and minimum wage provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The facilities also paid $68,796 in civil penalties, while their parent company has agreed to FLSA compliance at all its locations.
Centers for Care LLC - doing business as Centers Health Care, headquartered in the Bronx, New York - is the parent company for the three Rhode Island facilities:
- Park View Operations Associates LLC, doing business as Park View Center for Rehabilitation & HealthCare, in Providence;
- Bannister Center for Rehabilitation & Healthcare LLC, doing business as Bannister Center for Rehabilitation & Healthcare, in Providence; and
- Shady Acres Operations Associates LLC, doing business as Kingston Center for Rehabilitation, in West Kingston.
WHD's investigation found that the Centers Health Care facilities violated the FLSA by only paying employees for scheduled hours. Work performed before and after scheduled shifts went unpaid. Investigators also determined that the employers failed to total weekly hours for employees who worked at both the Park View and Bannister centers during the same workweeks. This practice resulted in overtime violations when total hours exceeded 40, but the employers failed to pay overtime, instead paying for hours worked at each location separately, at straight time rates. Additional violations resulted when the employers failed to include shift differentials in employees' regular rates of pay when computing overtime, and accordingly paid for overtime hours at rates lower than those required by law.
The employers also failed to record and pay employees for all the hours that they worked due to erroneous time rounding practices. The Rhode Island nursing care facilities also failed to post the FLSA poster, as required.
The investigation resulted in an enterprise-wide settlement agreement, under which Centers for Care, owner and operator of some 50 nursing care facilities nationwide, agreed to compliance with the FLSA at all its locations.
"The Wage and Hour Division will conduct investigations and rigorously address violations to ensure employees are paid what they have earned, and that employers compete on a level playing field," said Wage and Hour Division District Director David Gerrain in Hartford, Connecticut. "We encourage all employers to make use of the many tools we provide to explain their responsibilities so that costly violations like those found in this investigation can be avoided."
WHD's Hartford District Office conducted the investigation. The Department's Regional Office of the Solicitor in Boston negotiated the settlement for WHD.
Employers who discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program. Employers can find compliance assistance resources related to WHD issues at https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/ca_main.htm. For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Division, contact its toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at https://www.dol.gov/whd including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the Division.
WHD's mission is to promote and achieve compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of the Nation's workforce. WHD enforces Federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. WHD also enforces the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, wage garnishment provisions of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, and a number of employment standards and worker protections as provided in several immigration related statutes. Additionally, WHD administers and enforces the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis Bacon Act and the Service Contract Act and other statutes applicable to Federal contracts for construction and for the provision of goods and services.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.