Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.
U.S. Department of Labor Obtains Judgment Requiring Adult Care Provider To Pay $400,000 in Back Wages, Damages and Penalties
PITTSBURGH, PA – The U.S. Department of Labor has secured a $400,000 consent judgment for violations of the overtime and recordkeeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by Heart II Heart LLC – a company providing adult community residential rehabilitation homes for individuals with disabilities in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The settlement follows an investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) that found the employer misclassified all workers performing direct care as independent contractors. As a result, the employer failed to pay overtime to 99 employees when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek, as required by law. WHD also found that the employer failed to maintain records of the number of hours employees worked. Following that investigation, the department’s Office of the Solicitor filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
The court’s judgment orders Heart II Heart LLC and its owner, Toni Duncan, to pay $182,624 in back wages, and an equal amount in liquidated damages. WHD also assessed $34,752 in civil money penalties due to the willful nature of the violations. The court had previously granted summary judgment to the Department on several key issues, finding Heart II Heart LLC and Duncan violated the overtime and recordkeeping requirements of the FLSA.
“Employees must be paid all of the wages they are legally due,” said Wage and Hour District Director John DuMont in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “Employers have an obligation to pay employees in compliance with the law.”
“This case demonstrates that we will use all enforcement tools available, including litigation, to ensure employees receive the wages they have earned, and that employers compete on a level playing field.” said Oscar L. Hampton, the Department’s Regional Solicitor in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
WHD provides a wide variety of compliance assistance tools to help employers understand their responsibilities and employees understand their rights.
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/agencies/whd.
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.