NAMPA, ID – A federal investigation has recovered $88,185 in back wages and liquidated damages for 90 caregivers employed by an Idaho home care agency whose pay practices denied the workers their legally earned wages, including overtime.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found that Allegiant SL LLC, a service provider for people with developmental disabilities, paid some caregivers straight-time rates for hours over 40 in a workweek, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The employer – operating as Allegiant Supported Living in Nampa – also failed to include non-discretionary bonuses in calculating overtime for some workers. Additionally, the employer did not maintain records of all hours worked, including overtime hours, resulting in additional recordkeeping violations.
“Too often, unscrupulous employers in the healthcare industry violate federal wage and hour laws knowingly and deprive their employees of their hard-earned wages,” said District Director Carrie Aguilar in Portland, Oregon. “The U.S. Department of Labor is determined to protect the rights of essential workers like these by recovering wages owed to them and by holding employers accountable for wage theft.”
In addition to recovering $44,092 in overtime back wages and an equal amount in damages, the division assessed $11,984 in penalties because of the willful nature of Allegiant’s violations.
In fiscal year 2021, the division recovered $13.8 million in back wages for more than 17,000 workers in the healthcare industry, known for low wages and high rates of violations.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that more than 1.7 million job openings existed in the healthcare industry in August 2022, and that 486,000 industry workers quit their jobs.
“As healthcare industry employers struggle to recruit the people they need to fill their open positions, those who fail to pay employees their full wages will likely find it more difficult to retain and attract workers than employers who respect workers’ rights and protections,” Aguilar added.
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 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 and iOS devices, to ensure hours and pay are accurate.