US Department of Labor recovers $532K in back wages for 67 workers after Montgomery home care employer misclassifies them as contractors
MONTGOMERY, AL – Federal investigators have recovered $532,842 in back wages and liquidated damages from a Montgomery home healthcare business that misclassified 67 employees as independent contractors, and incurred overtime wage violations as a result.
U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigators found Jennings Professional Services, an in-home, day and overnight healthcare provider, paid the affected employees straight-time rates for all hours worked. By doing so, the employer denied the workers — who care for sick and older adults — their additional half-time rate for overtime for hours over 40 in a workweek, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. In addition, the employer failed to keep accurate pay records as required.
“Misclassifying employees as independent contractors is a serious problem that deprives employees of their rightful wages and benefits,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Kenneth Stripling in Birmingham, Alabama. “The Department of Labor is determined to protect the rights of the nation’s care workers — the people devoted to providing vital services to those in need – and make sure they receive lawful wages and benefits in return for the hard work they do.”
In fiscal year 2022, the Wage and Hour Division concluded more than 1,100 investigations in health care industries. These investigations recovered nearly $15 million in back wages for more than 22,000 workers.
“The Wage and Hour Division offers compliance assistance, confidentially if needed, to any worker or employer with questions or concerns,” Stripling added.
Get more information on how the Wage and Hour Division is focused on improving compliance by residential care, nursing facilities, home health services and other care 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 (487-9243). The division also offers online resources for employers, such as a fact sheet on Fair Labor Standards Act overtime pay requirements. Workers who feel they may not be getting the wages they earned or are misclassified as independent contractors 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 can help ensure hours worked and pay are accurate by downloading the department’s Android or iOS Timesheet App for free and available in English and Spanish. Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division.