$176,228 in Back Wages and Damages in FLSA Violation Case

Friday, August 21, 2015

A total of 76 current and former nurses employed by Friends Who Care Inc. are receiving $176,228 in back wages and liquidated damages under terms of a Consent Judgment entered in federal court in Flint, Michigan, Aug. 14. 

The Consent Judgment resolves a lawsuit which resulted from an investigation conducted by the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division, which alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act's overtime provisions by the Berkley, Michigan-based company and its president Gayle Busselle.

The Labor Department alleged that the company paid registered and licensed practical nurses on an hourly basis and paid straight time for all hours worked by these nurses who provide specialized care in the private homes of clients. The Labor Department alleged that the nurses were entitled to overtime compensation and were not exempt from overtime provisions of the FLSA which require time and a half of the employee's rate of pay for hours worked beyond forty in a workweek. 
The Consent Judgment also permanently enjoins Friends Who Care Inc., which has 10 offices through the State of Michigan, and Busselle, from violating the FLSA in the future and requires the company to make, keep, and preserve accurate employment records.

The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular hourly rates for hours worked beyond 40 per week. The FLSA provides that employers who violate the law are, as a general rule, liable to employees for their back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages. Liquidated damages are paid directly to the affected employees. Additionally, the law requires employers to maintain accurate time and payroll records and prohibits retaliation against employees who exercise their rights under the law.

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