Department of Labor recovers $380K in back wages, damages for 126 workers after 2 North Carolina home care employers fail to pay proper overtime
Employers: Gentle Shepherd Care LLC
8604 Cliff Cameron Drive, Suite 144
Charlotte, NC 28269
At Home Personal Care Services Inc.
1700 E. Arlington Blvd. Suite A
Greenville, NC 27585
Investigation findings: Investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found Gentle Shepherd Care – which provides home healthcare services in the Charlotte area – failed to combine hours when employees worked at multiple locations during the same workweek. By doing so, the employer did not pay the affected workers their additional half-time premium rate for overtime for hours over 40 in a workweek. The Fair Labor Standards Act requires all hours worked in a workweek be combined when calculating wages, regardless of where employees performed the work.
A separate investigation found Greenville’s At Home Personal Care paid employees straight-time rates for all hours worked, including hours over 40 in a workweek. By doing so, the employer did not pay the additional half-time premium rate for overtime as the FLSA requires. In addition, the employer failed to pay for travel time between the clients’ homes when the employees visited multiple clients during the same day and did not keep accurate records as required.
Back Wages and Liquidated Damages Recovered:
$193,768 for 98 Gentle Shepherd Care workers.
$187,148 for 28 At Home Personal Care workers.
Quote: “Workers who provide home healthcare services deserve to be paid every penny of their hard-earned wages as they care for our loved ones,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Richard Blaylock in Raleigh, North Carolina. “When employers choose to ignore the law, they deny workers the wages they earned and need to support their families. Employers must use this investigation’s outcome as a reminder to review their pay practices to ensure they comply with the law.”
Background: From 2020 to 2022, Wage and Hour Division investigators identified violations in nearly 89 percent of more than 1,200 home care and nursing care investigations. 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. Get more information on how this effort aligns with the agency’s initiative to protect essential workers in the Southeast, or see how the Wage and Hour Division is focused on improving compliance by residential care, nursing facilities, home health services and other care-focused industry employers by protecting workers’ rights and protections, nationwide.
Employers can contact the Wage and Hour Division at its toll-free number, 1-866-4-US-WAGE. The division also offers online resources for employers, such as a fact sheet on Fair Labor Standards Act wage laws overtime requirements. Workers who feel they may not be getting the wages they earned may contact a Wage and Hour Division representative in their state through a list and interactive online map on the agency’s website. Workers and employers alike can help ensure hours worked and pay are accurate by downloading the department’s Android Timesheet App for free. Learn more about Wage and Hour Division.