US Department of Labor recovers $173K for 26 workers of Mississippi home companionship provider that denied proper overtime pay
Employer: Heart2Heart Homecare Service Inc.
Investigation site: 483 John R. Junkin Drive
Natchez, MS 39120
Investigation findings: U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigators found the employer – a third-party entity that provides workers to private homes needing assistance – failed to pay workers overtime at time-and-one-half their regular rate of pay for hours over 40 in a workweek, as the law requires. By law, a third-party provider cannot claim an overtime exemption. In addition to failing to pay overtime, Heart2Heart failed to maintain a record of the employees’ total overtime hours and the correct hourly rate for hours over 40 each workweek, both Fair Labor Standards Act violations.
Back Wages Recovered: The division recovered $173,506 in back wages for 26 workers.
Civil money penalties assessed: The division assessed a civil money penalty of $11,466 to address repeat violations. Investigators previously found overtime violations during a review of the employer’s records from Feb. 21, 2015, to Feb. 17, 2017, resulting in $79,237 in back wages recovered for 83 employees.
Quote: “Overtime violations in the healthcare industry are a common occurrence. Employers who fail to pay these essential workers the wages they have earned make it harder for workers and their families to make ends meet,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Audrey Hall in Jackson, Mississippi. “Employees or employers unsure of their legal rights and responsibilities should contact the Wage Hour Division for guidance.”
Background: Heart2Heart Homecare Service Inc. provides workers to offer companionship services to individuals requiring home healthcare. In addition to its Natchez location, the company has locations in Flowood and Gulfport, and employs approximately 160 workers enterprise-wide.
The Wage and Hour Division provides multiple tools to help employers understand their responsibilities and offers confidential compliance assistance to anyone with questions about how to comply with the law. Workers can call the division confidentially with questions – regardless of their immigration status – and the department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages. Help ensure hours worked and pay are accurate by downloading the department’s Android Timesheet App for free.