HARTFORD, CT – Numerous southeastern Connecticut residents rely on domestic caregivers for their daily living needs. While certain domestic workers were historically excluded from various protections provided by federal employment law, the Fair Labor Standards Act now entitles many of these workers to receive overtime wages when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek.After an investigation and litigation by the U.S. Department of Labor, a federal court entered a consent judgment requiring a Waterford-based homecare service business, CareCo Shoreline Inc. – doing business as CareCo – and its owner Helga Pfanner, to pay a total of $92,150 in back wages and liquidated damages to 107 in-home caregivers. The back wages and liquidated damages, which cover the period from March 24, 2018, to Aug. 10, 2019, have been paid, and the department’s Wage and Hour Division is distributing them to the affected employees. Due to the violations’ willful and repeated nature, CareCo and Pfanner have also paid $80,000 in civil money penalties to the department. Read the consent judgment and order.The consent judgment came in the wake of the department prevailing on its motion for partial summary judgment, in which the court granted summary judgment on CareCo’s overtime violations based on its own records, CareCo’s liability for liquidated damages and the willfulness of those overtime violations. Read the partial summary judgment order. “Caregivers work long hours, performing vital services for people in need. They deserve and have the right to be paid all the wages they have earned for their hard work,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Donald Epifano in Hartford, Connecticut. “Violations like those found in this case, which can harm essential workers, are preventable. The U.S. Department of Labor encourages all employers to contact their nearest Wage and Hour Division office for assistance with understanding their responsibilities under the law.”The consent judgment resolving the case, entered in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, also permanently forbids CareCo and its owner from violating federal overtime and recordkeeping requirements, and from discharging or discriminating against any employee who takes part in an investigation or otherwise exercises their FLSA rights. The consent judgment also requires the employers to cooperate with and provide truthful information and records in response to any future FLSA investigations.“Against the historical backdrop of domestic workers being excluded from certain protections provided by the Fair Labor Standards Act and what that exclusion has meant for generations of domestic workers, the U.S. Department of Labor will pursue all appropriate legal channels to ensure that employers comply with the law and their responsibilities to pay their employees properly,” said regional Solicitor of Labor Maia Fisher in Boston.The FLSA requires that most employees in the U.S. be paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked and overtime pay at not less than time and one-half the regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. It also prohibits employers from firing or taking adverse action against employees for exercising their rights. Read more about protections for domestic service workers under the FLSA. Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division. Employers and workers can call the division confidentially with questions regardless of their immigration status. The department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages through the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Help ensure hours worked and pay are accurate by downloading the department’s Android and iOS Timesheet App for free in English or Spanish.Su v. CareCo Shoreline Inc. d/b/a CareCo and Helga PfannerCivil Action No.  3:21-cv-00401-VAB

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