SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered $373,471 in back wages and damages for 23 caregivers after an investigation found a Bay Area staffing agency denied overtime wages to workers, some of whom worked 12 to 16 hours a day.
Investigators with the department’s Wage and Hour Division found that Creative Living Solutions Inc. in Union City paid employees straight-time rates for all hours worked, including overtime hours. By doing so, the employer, whose home care workers serve older adults and people with disabilities, failed to pay the required time-and-a-half overtime rates for hours over 40 in a workweek, a Fair Labor Standards Act violation.
The company and owner Nafisa Mohseni accepted the division’s findings, agreed to pay the back wages owed and changed their pay practices to avoid future FLSA violations.
“The U.S. Department of Labor is determined to recover full wages for workers when their employer fails to pay them as required,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Susana Blanco in San Jose, California. “Care workers often work around-the-clock to meet the needs of people who depend on them, and they deserve to be paid properly for the long hours they spend on the job.”
In addition to recovering $186,735 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages, the department assessed the employer $17,227 in civil money penalties for the willful nature of their violations.
Learn more about worker protections for care workers and the responsibility of employers to comply with federal minimum wage and overtime law.
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 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 Spanish – to track hours and pay.