News Release

US Department of Labor finds San Jose assisted living provider intentionally denied 16 workers overtime pay, recovers $211K in back wages, damages

Fines Pruneridge Residential Care Home $12K for repeated violations

SAN JOSE, CA – A federal investigation has recovered $211,064 in back wages and liquidated damages for 16 people employed by the owners and operators of three Bay Area assisted living facilities that deliberately failed to pay the required overtime rate when employees worked over 40 hours a week serving the needs of older adults in Santa Clara and San Jose.

Investigators from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found Pruneridge Enterprise Inc. and its owners, Leilani F. Cortes and Geoffrey L. Cortes, did not pay overtime to the affected workers at three locations the employers operate as Pruneridge Residential Care Home in Santa Clara at 3030 Pruneridge Ave. and 312 Nowell Drive, and in San Jose at 2575 Forest Ave. On average, the affected workers at these facilities worked as many as 50 hours per week.

The division also learned the employers paid six caregivers below minimum wage and did not keep accurate payroll records. These actions violated the overtime, minimum wage and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

In addition to the recovery of $105,532 in unpaid wages — and an equal amount in liquidated damages — the division assessed Pruneridge Enterprise Inc. and its owners with $12,336 in civil money penalties for the repeated and willful nature of the employers’ violations. In 2011, three investigations found similar wage violations at facilities operated by the employers.

“Care industry workers are among our nation’s lowest paid workers, and our investigations too often find unscrupulous employers taking advantage of them and depriving them of their hard-earned wages,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Susana Blanco in San Jose, California. “The U.S. Department of Labor is determined to protect workers’ rights to be paid all of their legally earned wages and will hold accountable those who mistakenly think they can violate these rights.”

In fiscal year 2022, the division recovered $14.9 million in back wages for more than 22,000 healthcare industry workers nationwide. As the U.S. population ages and demand for healthcare services increases, employment in a variety of healthcare sectors is projected to grow 13 percent from 2021 to 2031 – faster than the average for all occupations – adding about 2 million new jobs. 

The division enforces the law regardless of a worker’s immigration status and can speak confidentially with callers in more than 200 languages. For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, 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.

Download the agency’s new Timesheet App, now available in English and Spanish for Android and iOS devices, to ensure hours and pay are accurate.

Wage and Hour Division
May 11, 2023
Release Number
Media Contact: Michael Petersen
Media Contact: Jose Carnevali
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