Virginia home healthcare agency, owners pay $604K in back wages, damages after federal investigation finds workers wrongly asked to waive overtime pay
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA – The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered more than $604,000 in back wages and liquidated damages for 50 employees of a Virginia Beach home healthcare agency that illegally asked workers to waive their right to receive hard-earned overtime pay.
An investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division found Progressive Services of Virginia LLC and co-owners Georgiana Smith and Richard Smith asked direct care employees to sign documents waiving their rights to overtime compensation. The employers paid straight-time rates for hours over 40 in a workweek.
The division recovered $302,144 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages for the affected workers and assessed the employers $18,703 in civil money penalties for their intentional violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
“The Fair Labor Standards Act does not permit employers to deny overtime pay or to instruct workers to waive their overtime pay,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Roberto Melendez in Richmond, Virginia. “Employees should know their workplace rights and employers must understand and comply with the law.”
Progressive Services of Virginia provides in-home intellectual disabilities and developmental disabilities services for children, adolescents and adults in the Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Portsmouth areas.
For more information about the FLSA and other laws the division enforces, 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. Workers can call the division confidentially with questions or concerns – regardless of where they are from – 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 and iOS Timesheet App for free in English or Spanish.