$654,000 in Back Wages for Employees of Home Nursing Care Agency for Overtime Pay and Record Keeping Violations

Friday, May 18, 2012

Downey-based Extended Health Care Inc. has agreed to pay $654,082 in back wages to 108 current and former registered nurses and licensed vocational nurses following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division that determined the home nursing services provider violated the Fair Labor Standard Act’s overtime and record-keeping provisions.

The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid time and one-half their regular hourly rates of pay for hours worked beyond 40 for each week. Additionally, the law requires employers to maintain accurate time and payroll records.

The division found that some employees were paid “straight time” for all hours worked, including hours in excess of 40 per week, instead of time and one-half their regular rates for overtime hours. Additionally, several of the longest-tenured employees were only paid time and one-quarter for overtime hours; some employees received an overtime rate of time and one-half but only for hours worked beyond 80 in the biweekly payroll period, rather than for hours worked beyond 40 in one week as required; and some employees were misclassified as independent contractors, which resulted in a lack of required wage deductions for taxes or other withholdings. Extended Health Care also failed to keep accurate records of wages paid to employees.

Extended Health Care Inc., which does business as EHC Private Duty Nursing, dispatches nurses to patients’ homes for direct skilled nursing care. The company currently employs approximately 70 workers. Following the investigation, the company signed a settlement agreement with the department, and agreed to future compliance and to pay the back wages in full.

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