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U.S. DOL Investigates Wage and Hour Practices in the Health Care Industry

August 16, 2010

According to a recent article in the New York Times, President Obama and U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) have embarked on an investigation into the pay practices throughout the health care industry after discovering that many nursing homes and hospitals are neglecting to compensate nurses and other employees appropriately, for overtime hours worked beyond a 40-hour week.

As our Orange County employment attorneys reported in a recent blog, after becoming the U.S. Secretary of Labor, Hilda L. Solis embarked on a nationwide campaign to investigate employer wage and hour violations, focusing on low-wage and vulnerable workers. Solis has increased the enforcement staff in all of the agencies within in the Labor Department, which includes the hiring of 250 new field investigators for the Wage and Hour Division.

The DOL claims that nursing assistants, cooks, licensed practical nurses and other employees in the industry are especially vulnerable to wage violations.

As part of the U.S. Labor Department's ongoing fight to make sure employers uphold the Fair Labor Standards Act, by paying employees the minimum wage, as well as one-and-a-half times the employees' regular pay rate for hours worked beyond a 40-hour week, hospitals across the country have reportedly paid hefty sums in government and employees claim settlements, that total back pay in the millions.

In a recent class-action lawsuit in California, a proposed settlement would make Kaiser Permanente pay $7.25 million to hundreds of registered nurse contractors, medical workers and other case managers who claim that their overtime pay rights were violated due to employee misclassification.

In another heath care suit in Boston, Partners HealthCare System will pay 700 employees back wages totaling over $2.7 million to resolve a lawsuit by the Labor Department alleging violations of the FLSA and overtime laws. The DOL has also reportedly recovered over $1.7 million in back wages for the 4,000 employees whose employment rights were violated while working for SSM Health Care in St. Louis.

At Howard Law, PC, our experienced team of Anaheim employment attorneys work to protect your rights to a workplace free from violations of wage and hour laws. Call today, for a free consultation, so we can help you with your recovery.

Pay Practices in Health Care Are Investigated, The New York Times, August 9, 2010

Labor Department: 'We Can Help,', April 2, 2010

Labor Dept.'s New 'Sheriff' Offers Overdue Help to Wage-Theft Victims, In These Times, April 2, 2010

United States Department of Labor (DOL): We Can Help

DOL Initiates "We Can Help" Campaign Aimed at Increasing Enforcement, Wage and Hour Law Updates, April 2, 2010

L.A. Leads New York, Chicago, in Abuse of Low-wage Workers, Survey Says, Los Angeles Times, January 6, 2010

Related Web Resources:

U.S. Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Division: Handy Reference Guide to the Fair Labor Standards Act

U.S. Department of Labor