CAUTIONARY TALE EPISODE 64Dept. of Labor Half-Million Assessment Against Four California Care Homes « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


Dept. of Labor Half-Million Assessment Against Four California Care Homes


The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the federal Department of Labor has aimed a compliance initiative at home health services, nursing homes, residential facilities and other employers focusing on care services. In 1,600 investigations since 2021, the WHD has found violations in 80 percent of the cases, recovering “$28.6 million in “back wages and damages for nearly 25,000 workers,” plus “assessments of nearly $1.3 million in civil monetary penalties for willful violations.”

The highest number of violations were for misclassification of employees as independent contractors or failure to pay minimum wage or overtime.

In January 2023, the WHD announced $500,584 in back wages and liquidated damages (an award doubling the amount of wages owed) against four care homes in the Sacramento area – Nwabeke Care Home, Peer Home Inc., L&S Gentle Care Inc., and Bedette’s Place Inc.—and their owners, including violations for minimum wage, overtime and time records.

WHD District Director Cesar Avila stated: “The majority of care workers are women and low-wage earners who provide essential services for those most in need in our communities. The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to holding care service employers accountable and ensuring their workers are paid in full and as required by federal law.”

As we have written, this is an industry that California’s Labor Commissioner also has in its sights.

TAKE-AWAYS:  Employers in the care industry need to protect their businesses from being the next target.  They must understand and implement state and federal employment requirements. Those looking to open such facilities should determine their employment obligations in advance and ensure their business model will enable them to pay what is required.  Consulting with a knowledgeable employment attorney is crucial for getting it right.

For further information, please contact Tim BowlesCindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

See also:

Helena Kobrin
March 3, 2023

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