CAUTIONARY TALES EPISODE EIGHT « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles



Adult Care Facilities Must Pay Minimum Wage and Overtime or Face Expensive Consequences

California’s Labor Commissioner continues her pursuit of businesses that fail to comply with wage and hour laws. In a January 9, 2018 News Release, she announced citations of $7,137,036 against Adat Shalom Board & Care, Inc., which operates six residential board and care facilities in Los Angeles.

The Commissioner awarded unpaid minimum wage ($2,272,343) and overtime ($1,871,990), plus penalties for not providing required breaks ($128,196), and liquidated damages ($2,689,907) (double the unpaid minimum wages plus interest). She also included $174,600 in civil penalties for the same violations plus not providing accurate wage statements as required by Labor Code 226(a). See California’s Itemized Paystub Requirements, Ignoring the Needed Details Poses Trap for Unwary Employers, (March, 2016).

The 149 caregivers who share these awards worked 24-hour shifts six days/week caring for elderly persons with various ailments, including Alzheimer’s disease and some on hospice care. For their work, the company paid them $1,500 to $1,800/month, amounting to $2.40 to $2.88/hour for the number of hours worked.

The Commissioner stated: “Adult care facilities require caregivers to work around the clock, making workers in this industry vulnerable to wage theft and exploitation.” She encouraged “other residential caregivers to speak up and report wage theft if they are not paid for the work they do.”

For those running such facilities, it is a very good idea to promptly review your pay practices for legal compliance with an experienced management-side employment attorney. Minimum requirements include payment of minimum wage, currently $10.50 to $11.00 under state law depending on number of employees, but also subject to local ordinances requiring higher amounts. See California Minimum Wage Rates for 2018,  (December, 2017). You are also required to pay overtime at 1-1/2 or two times the person’s hourly rate for hours over eight in a day or 40 in a week. Your employees are also entitled to receive meal and rest breaks, with the number determined by the hours of work.

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

Helena Kobrin

February 2, 2018