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Multiple U.S. Labor Department Actions Highlight Unpaid Overtime and Other Wage and Hour Problems in California’s Healthcare Industry
Healthcare workers face many challenges. Increasingly, extremely long hours are one of them. Losing one's "work-life" balance is one problem; it's quite another to put in those extra long hours and then not get the overtime pay you deserve. If you're a healthcare worker in California who's been denied proper overtime compensation, you should get in touch with an experienced San Mateo wage and hour lawyer.
ccording to an April 2022 National Nurses United survey, nearly two-thirds (64.5%) of hospital nurses responded that their employers used "excessive overtime" to staff their facilities.
On top of that, there's the plight that some in-home care providers and assisted living workers face, in which their employers illegally fail to compensate them for the overtime hours they worked. In fact, just since February, the U.S. Labor Department has recovered nearly a half-million dollars from two Bay Area healthcare employers based on their overtime violations.
The first of the two involved a home care entity based in southern Napa County. In that circumstance, the employer violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in two ways. First, it didn't pay its workers for all the hours they worked in excess of 40 per week, as it failed "to count workers’ hours funded and paid by the State of California’s In-Home Supportive Services program as hours worked."
Additionally, the employer paid the workers straight time for all of the hours they worked, making the workers sign an agreement where they consented to receive only straight time for as much as 160 hours per pay period,
according to the DOL. In total, the DOL found that the company owed $315K in back wages to 158 of its workers.
An Impermissible Cap on Overtime
In April, the employer was the operator of four Bay Area residential assisted living facilities. This
employer violated the FLSA when it decided that it only owed time-and-a-half overtime compensation for the first 16 hours per pay period. If a worker exceeded that 16-hour overtime cap, any additional hours were compensated at the straight-time rate. In total, the back wages that the employer owed were more than $176,000.
The problem isn't limited just to the Bay Area. Last spring, the Labor Department found that a Laguna Hills assisted living facility for seniors illegally underpaid its workers. These FLSA violations included charging workers for meals but then not providing those meals, requiring that workers participate in mandatory training sessions during their days off but then not paying the workers for those hours, and also failing to pay workers for the time they worked during interrupted breaks. In all, 13 workers were illegally underpaid and the total amount of back wages was more than $158,000.
Contact a Wage and Hour Attorney
Healthcare workers provide essential services to seniors, people with disabilities, and others. They, like all workers, deserve to be compensated fairly in accordance with state and federal law. The skilled San Mateo wage and hour attorneys at Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos, LLP are here to help those who don't get that appropriate compensation. Our experienced team has spent many years helping workers to succeed in their minimum wage, unpaid overtime, and other wage and hour actions. To set up a free consultation with one of our helpful attorneys, contact us at 650-345-8484 or through our website.
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