LAKE CITY, FL – The U.S. Department of Labor recovered a total of $8,931 in back wages for two workers of a Lake City assisted living facility after its investigation found the employer denied paying them overtime wages they earned and illegally terminated one of the workers after they exercised their right to federally protected medical leave. 

Investigators with the department’s Wage and Hour Division found ETS Willowbrook at Marion LLC – operating as Willowbrook Assisted Living – improperly assumed the workers were not entitled to overtime and failed to pay the additional half-time rate for hours over 40 in a workweek. The failure to pay overtime violated the Fair Labor Standards Act. The employer also failed to keep complete time records, as required. 

The division also determined that Willowbrook had illegally terminated one of the workers after the employer failed to grant them protected leave for a medical condition covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act. 

The division recovered $7,036 in back overtime wages for the workers for the overtime violations. To resolve the illegal termination, the employer paid the affected worker $1,894 in back wages. 

“Our investigation found Willowbrook Assisted Living improperly applied overtime regulations – an all-too-common violation in the healthcare industry – and denied full wages to those essential workers who provide services to those in need,” stated Wage and Hour Division District Director Wildalí De Jesús in Orlando, Florida. “We also determined that the employer violated the Family and Medical Leave Act when it terminated a worker who met all eligibility and qualifying requirements for medical leave under the FMLA. The FMLA exists to ensure workers are not forced to choose between keeping their job and caring for their own or their family’s health needs.” 

Learn more about the FMLA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division. Contact the Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). The division also offers numerous online resources for employers, such as a fact sheet on Fair Labor Standards Act wage laws overtime requirements. Workers who feel they may not be getting the wages they earned may contact a Wage and Hour Division representative in their state through a list and interactive online map on the agency’s website. Use the agency’s search tool if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.

Learn more about Wage and Hour Division.

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