US Department of Labor files lawsuit to recover back wages, damages from Minneapolis-area home healthcare provider who denied workers overtime
MINNEAPOLIS – After a federal investigation found a Golden Valley franchisee of a national chain of home healthcare providers failed to pay overtime to certified nursing and patient care assistants as required by law – and then attempted to mask the violations – the U.S. Department of Labor has filed a complaint in federal court in Minneapolis to recover back wages and damages.
In its filing, the department seeks back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages for 25 employees of Getch Inc. in Golden Valley, and its owner, Gregory B. Getchell, operator of Amada Senior Care Twin Cities. The action follows an investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division that determined the employer owes $75,101 in overtime back wages to the affected workers.
Investigators found Getch violated federal law by paying a flat daily rate to workers who provided live-in assistance with self-care and daily living activities, and failed to pay overtime as required. Then, in an effort to create the appearance that overtime had been paid, Getch altered employees’ pay records. Additionally, the employer misapplied rules waiving employers’ overtime pay obligations, and failed to pay an office worker the overtime wages due. These actions resulted in violations of the overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
“All too often, we find home healthcare industry employers systemically violating overtime rules that deny workers their full hard-earned wages,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Kristin Tout in Minneapolis. “As industry employers struggle to find people to fill the jobs needed to remain competitive, they must take into account that retaining and recruiting workers is more difficult when employers fail to respect workers’ rights and pay them their full wage.”
In June 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the 728,000 healthcare and social services workers left their positions and the field had more than 2 million openings. As the aging U.S. population grows and demand for home healthcare services increases, employment in a variety of healthcare sectors is projected to grow 16 percent from 2020 to 2030 – faster than the average for all occupations – adding about 2.6 million new jobs.
“Getch Inc. demonstrated a reckless disregard for the requirements of the law when company records gave the false appearance of overtime pay,” said Regional Solicitor of Labor Christine Heri in Chicago. “The Department of Labor is committed to fighting for justice for workers denied their rightfully earned wages.”
Based in San Juan Capistrano, California, Amada Senior Care was founded in 2007 and has more than 100 franchise locations throughout the U.S. Amada care providers offer care services for seniors and their families, including in-home senior care, senior housing advising, home monitoring and financial care coordination.
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, 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. Download the agency’s new Timesheet App for Android devices to ensure hours and pay are accurate.
Walsh v. Getch Inc., Gregory B. Getchell
U.S. District Court District of Minnesota