Lackawanna County home healthcare company pays $140K in back wages, damages, penalties after US Labor Department secures court judgment
OLYPHANT, PA – A federal court has entered a consent judgment resolving a U.S. Department of Labor lawsuit filed after an investigation found that an Olyphant home healthcare agency failed to pay 98 nurses overtime wages they legally earned – including payment for ancillary work and work-related travel – in violation of federal law.
The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in Scranton has ordered Revolutionary Home Health Inc. to pay $66,000 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages to 98 registered nurses and licensed practical nurses. Revolutionary Home Health must also pay $8,000 in civil penalties the department assessed given the repeat nature of the violations and the employer’s reckless disregard of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The department’s Wage and Hour Division found Revolutionary Home Health failed to do the following:
- Pay 98 registered nurses and licensed practical nurses required overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. Instead, the agency paid employees on a “per-unit” basis and set a dollar amount per patient, with a different dollar amount assigned to certain types of visits, regardless of how many hours these employees worked.
- Pay employees for time spent performing duties outside of patient visits, such as attending meetings, getting supplies at the employer’s office, completing reports and traveling between clients and facilities.
- Include bonuses in the calculation when determining workers’ overtime rates. Excluding these amounts resulted in the employer paying overtime at rates lower than those required by law.
- Maintain accurate time records. The employer failed to record the number of hours employees worked on a weekly or daily basis. Records also excluded time spent attending meetings, getting supplies at the employer’s office, contacting patients outside of work hours, completing reports and traveling between clients and facilities.
“Failing to pay employees all the wages they have rightfully earned not only harms the workers and their families, it also puts law-abiding employers at a competitive disadvantage,” said Wage and Hour District Director Alfonso Gristina in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. “We encourage other employers in the home healthcare industry to evaluate their own pay practices to ensure they comply with the law, and avoid violations like these.”
“This judgment sends a clear message to employers that failure to pay employees their rightfully earned wages comes at a high cost,” said Regional Solicitor Oscar L. Hampton III in Philadelphia.
Revolutionary Home Health Inc. provides home care to elderly, adults, expectant mothers and children. Based in Olyphant, the agency has branch offices in Fort Washington and Allentown.
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the agency, contact the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.