NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Department of Labor has obtained a consent judgment requiring the operator of a New Orleans-area home healthcare agency to pay 80 workers a total of $630,000 in back wages and damages after the employer misclassified them as independent contractors.

Entered in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Louisiana on June 12, 2023, the judgment against Parishes Supportive Living Inc. and owner Belinda Vining-Trepagnier follows an investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division that found the employers’ misclassification denied overtime pay and other benefits and protections to employees assigned to the agency’s locations in Metairie and Hammond in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The division’s review of the employer’s pay practices from December 2019 to December 2022 found Parishes Supportive Living willfully failed to pay overtime wages for hours over 40 in a workweek, as required by law.

“Companies will be held accountable for denying workers their earned wages by misclassifying them as independent contractors,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Troy Mouton in New Orleans. “Care industry workers provide vital services, and they deserve every cent that the law requires.”

In addition to payment of back wages and damages, the employers must retain an independent third-party auditor to review the company’s payroll and pay practices for a three-year period and prepare status reports on the employer’s ongoing FLSA compliance.

Parishes Supportive Living Inc. provides workers who offer clients home care, meal preparation, light household cleaning, personal hygiene assistance, transportation, medication reminders and other related home care services.

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. Workers and employers can call the division confidentially with questions, regardless of where they are from. The department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages through the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243).

Download the agency’s new Timesheet App for iOS and Android devices – free and now available in English and Spanish – to ensure hours and pay are accurate.

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