Healthcare Chain Must Give Employees Millions in Back Pay

By Leeds Brown Law | February 15, 2017

New York Home Health Care Chain Pays Employees Two Million in Back Pay

In a resolution recently announced by the Department of Labor, a New York skilled nursing care business agreed to pay 2 million dollars to some of its employees who did not get overtime and other wages. As reported by McKnight’s, Grand Healthcare System allegedly:

  • “failed to pay overtime eligible employees for overtime at five different facilities.”
  • “only paid employees for scheduled hours rather than the actual number of hours they worked”
  • “docked employees for short rest breaks…failed to pay workers who worked during meal breaks.”

These allegations, if true, illustrate some of the most frequent issues we, attorneys at Leeds Brown Law, P.C., come across in our practice. Employers routinely misclassify employees as excluded from overtime under the narrow FLSA exemptions. The exemptions involve a salary test and a duties test both of which must be met to be exempt. The truth is that most employees do not fall into an exempt category, and should be receiving pay for overtime hours they work.

Remember also, that workers are legally entitled to receive pay for all of the time that they perform work. The scheduled hours do not matter. The actual time spent working is what matters. For instance, if you supposed to take a one-hour lunch break but you perform your work instead, your employer must pay you for that time. If you are scheduled to work a 5 hour day, but your duties require you to put in 7 hours, your employer should pay you for those hours.

Home Health Care Workers Settle Unpaid Wage Claims

Home healthcare workers are a group of employees who often find themselves receiving less than their fair pay. There have been many settlements in recent months awarding employees unpaid wages and overtime and punishing businesses for violating the laws. According to Mark Watson, administrator for the United States Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division’s Northeast region, “The sorts of violations we found in this case are all too common in this industry.”

In this particular case, Grand Healthcare will pay 2 million dollars to cover the unpaid wages of about 850 employees. The company will also pay over 130,000 dollars in civil penalties. In fact, this is not the first time Grand Healthcare has been found to be in violation of wage and hour rules. Previously they were found to have similar violations and had to compensate 140 workers for unpaid wages.

Employees Have Legal Rights to Wages and Overtime

New York and Federal laws require that employees receive pay for all the hours they work. Sounds simple, right? Unfortunately, employees sometimes don’t receive all of the wages to which they are entitled. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) along with New York Labor Law obligate employers to pay minimum wage and overtime to qualified workers.

Many employers, however, withhold wages from employees. Businesses may not pay proper wages as a way to reduce expenses. Others may not know the legal requirements of many of the wage and hour laws that bind them. Regardless of the intention behind wage violations, employees are entitled to receive minimum wage, overtime, and pay for all of the time they spend performing work. When they don’t, they may file an unpaid wages claim against their employer. Businesses may also face fines and other punishments when they violate wage and hour laws.

Contact Us

If you are a home healthcare worker, or any other employee, who is not receiving wages to which you are legally entitled, contact unpaid wage and unpaid overtime lawyers at Leeds Brown. For a free unpaid wage claim evaluation call 1-800-585-4658



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