West Virginia nursing care facility pays $270K in back wages, damages to 166 workers following US Department of Labor investigation
PRINCETON, WV – A federal investigation recovered $270,984 in back wages and liquidated damages for 166 workers of a Princeton skilled nursing care facility. The employer failed to pay proper overtime as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division determined that Princeton Memorial Company – operating as Princeton Health Care Center – failed to pay the proper overtime premium to employees working 12-hour shifts. Specifically, the employer failed to pay the required overtime when employees worked in excess of 8 hours in any workday and in excess of 80 hours in an established 14-day period, a practice permitted for hospitals and residential care facilities, under certain conditions. Princeton Health also failed to include on-call pay and other bonuses in the calculation of overtime pay. The employer paid bonuses for longevity, recruitment, vacation deferral and hero pay related to the pandemic.
To resolve its violations, Princeton Health Care Center paid $270,984 in back wages and liquidated damages to the affected workers including registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and certified nursing assistant as well as dietary, maintenance and housekeeping/laundry workers.
“Healthcare workers have been and continue to be some of our nation’s most essential workers. We look to them to care for us and our families, and they deserve our appreciation, respect and protection,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director John DuMont in Pittsburgh. “The Wage and Hour Division is committed to ensuring these essential workers, and all workers, are paid all of the wages they have earned.”
Under the FLSA, hospitals and residential care establishments may use a fixed work period of 14 consecutive days in lieu of the 40-hour workweek for the purpose of computing overtime. To use this exception, an employer must have a prior agreement or understanding with affected employees before the work is performed. The Wage and Hour Division’s Health Care Industry and Calculating Overtime Pay factsheet provides guidance to employers on accurate determination of overtime wages.
For more information about the FLSA and other laws the division enforces, contact its 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.