US Department of Labor offers webinar in education, enforcement campaign to address alarming violations in Southeast’s care industries
ATLANTA – As the nation marks Home Care and Hospice Month, the U.S. Department of Labor will hold a public webinar on federal wage and hour regulations for home care, residential care and nursing care industry employers, workers and other stakeholders in the Southeast.
On Nov. 17, the department’s Wage and Hour Division will present “Caring For Those Who Care: Fair Labor Standards Act Requirements in the Care Industry,” as part of its ongoing education and enforcement initiative to improve compliance in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
The webinar will include a review of federal protections for care workers, so that employers, advocates and workers understand their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EST. While attendance is free, registration is necessary.
“Our nation’s ability to care for the most vulnerable people in our communities depends on truly dedicated people,” said Wage and Hour Division Regional Administrator Juan Coria in Atlanta. “The U.S. Department of Labor is determined to ensure these workers are not denied any of their hard-earned wages. Our current initiative combines compliance assistance and enforcement to decrease violations by employers in the care industries.”
From 2020 to 2022, division investigators in the Southeast identified violations in nearly 89 percent of more than 1,200 home care and nursing care investigations they completed. These reviews led the agency to recover more than $16.2 million in back wages and liquidated damages for more than 13,000 workers. In addition, the division assessed employers a total of $156,404 in civil money penalties.
This effort aligns with the division’s nation-wide initiative to protect essential care workers. The initiative focuses resources on educating care workers and their communities about their rights to minimum wage and overtime pay and how to file a complaint if they believe their rights have been violated. The initiative also targets the misclassification of workers as independent contractors, an illegal practice that may deprive workers of legally earned wages, and other protections.
“The alarming volume of violations tells us we must do more to protect the rights of some of the lowest paid workers in the Southeast,” Coria added. “Far too often, the Wage and Hour Division finds workers victimized by wage thefts, sometimes by unscrupulous employers and others who misunderstand the law. The consequences of violating the law can be very costly, so we encourage employers to contact our staff in the Southeast to get answers and assistance.”
The division offers multiple compliance assistance resources to provide employers the tools they need to comply with the law. Employers and workers alike can find out about upcoming compliance assistance events, to request information, or to ask specific questions. For information about laws enforced by the division, use the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). The division will confidentially address questions – regardless of where workers are from – and the department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages. Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division and its searchable, workers owed wages database. Help ensure hours worked and pay are accurate by downloading the department’s Android and iOS Timesheet App for free.