U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Napa, California Residential Care Facility Paying $225,000 for Overtime Violations
NAPA, CA – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Stayman Estates LLC – a residential care home operator based in Napa, California – will pay $225,000 in back wages to 25 employees for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) overtime requirements.
Investigators found Stayman Estates LLC – which owns and operates six care homes for elderly patients diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in Napa, California – illegally classified caregivers as independent contractors rather than employees to avoid paying overtime. The employer paid workers a daily flat rate regardless of the number of hours they worked, depriving caregivers of required overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. Stayman Estates also failed to maintain accurate records of the number of hours employees worked, also a violation of the FLSA.
This is the second time WHD has cited the employer for FLSA violations. A 2014 investigation of Stayman Estates LLC resulted in the employer paying $93,002 in back wages for overtime, minimum wage and recordkeeping violations.
“This investigation serves as a strong signal that the Wage and Hour Division will ensure that workers receive the wages they have legally earned, and that employers compete on a level playing field,” said Wage and Hour District Director Susana Blanco in San Jose, California. “We encourage employers and employees to call us for assistance to improve their understanding of the labor standards and learn about our on-line educational tools to avoid violations like those found in this investigation.”
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 that 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.