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Press Releases

U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
Release Number: 12-1483-ATL (276)

Date: 

July 26, 2012

Contact: 

Michael D’Aquino or Michael Wald

Phone: 

404-562-2076 or 404-562-2078

Tennessee assisted living facility pays more than $151,000 in back wages to 15 employees following US Department of Labor investigation


COALMONT, Tenn. -- Exceptional Enterprises Inc. has paid $151,119 in back wages to 15 employees following a U.S. Department of Labor investigation that found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage and overtime provisions. The assisted living facility is located on North Industrial Park Road in Coalmont.

The department’s Wage and Hour Division determined that the employer had been improperly deducting time for sleep from employees’ hours, resulting in minimum wage violations for the sleep time that was not compensated. The employer also failed to pay employees overtime compensation at one and one-half times their regular rates for hours worked beyond 40 in a week.

Under the FLSA, an employee who is required to be on duty for a period of fewer than 24 hours is considered to be working even if he or she is permitted to sleep or engage in other personal activities when not busy. An employee required to be on duty for 24 hours or more may agree with the employer to exclude from hours worked bona fide regularly scheduled sleeping periods of not more than eight hours. In this case, the employees were required to be on duty for fewer than 24 hours.

The FLSA also requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week.

“The Labor Department wants to ensure that employees who put in an honest day’s work receive an honest day’s pay. Health care workers are among the lowest-paid employees in the nation, and this employer profited by paying these vulnerable individuals less than they were legally due under the Fair Labor Standards Act,” said Astor Bruhier, district director for the Wage and Hour Division in Jackson, Miss. “The department’s efforts to recover these back wages help families to recover and, in turn, help local communities.”

Exceptional Enterprises has agreed to comply with the FLSA in the future and will post required notices informing employees of their rights under federal labor laws.

For more information about the FLSA and other federal labor laws, call the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or its Jackson District Office at 601-965-4347. Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.

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U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at (202) 693-7828 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America’s employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.