ROCHESTER, NY – A federal investigation has recovered $228,379 in back wages for 260 employees of a Rochester-based home healthcare agency that denied them overtime for hours over 40 in a workweek.

U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigators found that TruCare Connections misapplied state law when it paid home healthcare aides at its Rochester and Syracuse locations straight time for all hours up to 44 hours in a workweek. Although the employer paid employees overtime for hours worked over 44, the Fair Labor Standards Act requires overtime be paid after 40 hours. The back pay consists of the wages due the employees for the hours between 40 and 44 they worked per week.

“Home healthcare workers provide skilled nursing and assistance with essential daily living tasks and enable thousands of Americans to remain in the comfort of their own homes. They also provide peace of mind to the families of those receiving care,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Jay Rosenblum in Albany, New York. “Industry employers are obliged to understand and follow wage laws so that these workers can care for themselves and their families.”

In addition to the wage violations, TruCare Connections also violated the FLSA’s child labor restrictions by employing two 15-year-old workers as personal care aides. Their jobs involved performing duties not listed as permitted occupations for 15-year-olds, and they routinely worked more than 18 hours per week during school weeks in violation of the law. The employer has paid a civil money penalty of $3,640 to the department to resolve these violations.

“Any employer who employs minors absolutely must take the time to review the requirements and restrictions regarding youth employment or face the possibility of costly penalties,” said Rosenblum. “The violations found in this investigation and the penalties they carry could have been avoided. We encourage employers and workers to contact the Wage and Hour Division with their questions about federal employment laws.”

In May 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 728,000 healthcare and social services workers left their positions and the field had almost 2 million openings. As the aging U.S. population grows and demand for home health care services increases, employment in a variety of health care sectors is projected to grow 16 percent from 2020 to 2030 – faster than the average for all occupations – adding about 2.6 million new jobs.

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 required rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. The act’s child labor provisions regulate the number of hours and the type of work employees under age 18 can and cannot perform. Learn more about the employment of youth in the healthcare industry.  

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 confidentially 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, now available for android devices, to ensure hours and pay are accurate.

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