MCALLEN, TX – The U.S. Department of Labor’s recovery of more than $1 million in minimum and overtime wages owed to 859 home healthcare workers employed by two Texas companies show that improper pay practices in the industry remain a systemic problem in Texas and across the nation.Investigations by the department’s Wage and Hour Division determined that Alegre Home Health Care LLC in Mission and Pas Home Care LLC in Weslaco shortchanged employees by violating numerous federal regulations that govern how workers must legally be paid.Specifically, division investigators found both employers failed to combine all hours worked for the purpose of calculating employees’ overtime wages. The employers paid the affected employees straight-time rates for all hours worked, including for hours over 40 in a workweek when an overtime rate applies. In addition, the division found Alegre Home Health Care and Pas Home Care adjusted employees’ established wage rates during weeks when they worked overtime to avoid paying the required overtime rates. The findings are the result of investigations by the division’s McAllen District Office, which reviewed Alegre Home Health Care’s employment practices and identified violations at the employer’s Austin, Corpus Christi, Eagle Pass, El Paso, Mission, Presidio and San Antonio locations. A separate investigation of Pas Home Care was done at its Weslaco location. “Employers who fail to pay minimum wage and required overtime rates make it more difficult for workers to care for their needs and those of their families,” said Wage and Hour Division Regional Administrator Betty Campbell in Dallas. “The Department of Labor is determined to protect the rights of the nation’s care workers, people who provide vital services to those in need and who deserve to be paid all of their legal wages and benefits in return for their hard work.”In all, the division’s investigations led to a combined recovery of $1,041,406 in minimum wage and overtime back wages for the affected employees, which included $900,786 for 716 employees of Alegre Home Health Care LLC and $140,620 for 143 employees of Pas Home Care LLC.The Wage and Hour Division enforces laws governing pay practices and other labor standards, including the Fair Labor Standards Act, and determines if employers have misclassified employees as independent contractors and denied them critical benefits and worker protections. 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. The division protects workers regardless of where they are from and can communicate with workers and employers confidentially in more than 200 languages at 1-866-4-US-WAGE (487-9243).Download the agency’s new Timesheet App, which is available in English and Spanish for Android and Apple devices, to ensure hours and pay are accurate.     Lea en Español 

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