SPRINGDALE, OH – The U.S. Department of Labor has obtained a federal court order that recovers $19,934 in back wages and damages from an Ohio home healthcare and adult daycare service provider who denied seven employees overtime wages and failed to properly pay in-home workers when clients’ needs disrupted their sleep time.
The action by U.S. District Court Judge Douglas R. Cole for the Southern District of Ohio, Western Division, follows an investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division that found Ephiphany Home Care @ Best LLC in Springdale, and its owner, ShaRhonda Moore failed to combine hours when some employees worked in several locations – including client’s private homes, the company’s adult day program or at its main office – in the same workweek. The division also learned the employer incorrectly used an overtime exemption for a manager and failed to pay them properly for hours over 40 in a workweek.
On March 9, 2023, the court held Ephiphany Home Care and Moore liable for $9,967 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages for the affected employees. In its order, the court affirmed the division’s finding that Moore did not track an employee’s hours worked accurately, including sleep time interruptions. The court also forbid the facility and Moore from future violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage, overtime and recordkeeping provisions.
The employer was also assessed $2,067 in civil money penalties by the division for repeat violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. In 2018, the division found Moore, then known as ShaRhonda Spears, illegally denied employees overtime by failing to combine hours and paying overtime for hours over 40 in a workweek. In September 2018, the owner agreed to ensure their pay practices complied with federal law.
“Workers who provide adult day care and home health care for those unable to care for themselves provide clients the dignity they deserve,” explained Wage and Hour District Director Matthew Utley in Columbus, Ohio. “These workers are among the lowest paid in our nation and their situations are often made worse by industry employers who shortchange their workers by failing to pay them properly.”
The department’s Office of the Solicitor in Cleveland litigated the case.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the average home healthcare aide earned $29,430 per year in 2021, about $14.15 an hour. In fiscal year 2022, the division recovered nearly $15 million in back wages for more than 22,000 workers in the healthcare industry, ranked third by wages recovered on the division’s list of “Low-Wage, High Violations” industries.
The Wage and Hour Division offers resources on wages rules for healthcare workers.
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 and how to file an online complaint. For confidential compliance assistance, employees and employers can call the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243), regardless of where they are from.
Download the agency’s new Timesheet App for iOS and Android devices to ensure hours and pay are accurate.
Walsh v. Ephiphany Home Care @ Best LLC, ShaRhonda Moore
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Western Division