Dept. of Labor: Underpaid Workers in Assisted Living Facilities

In 2015, the US Department of Labor – Wage and Hour Division set forth an initiative to evaluate the assisted living facility and home care industry.  Nearly 100 investigations were conducted by the Tampa District office, which uncovered more than $400,000.00 in unpaid or underpaid wages to more than 350 employees of assisted living facilities.

The investigations also found that assisted living facilities, as an industry, used complicated working arrangements such as sub-contracting and third party management companies to blur the lines between employer and employee.  These types of employment relationships led to increased risk of workers being improperly compensated for the number of hours worked, overtime, and minimum wage.  DoL investigators found numerous infractions, including improper record keeping, failure to pay employees for work conducted at home or away from office and failure to compensate employees for travel time and time spent “on-call”.

The Department of Labor initiative also found that many employees, supervisors and management were unaware of certain regulations and prompted the agency to conduct outreach events to assist in law compliance and provide information on employer/employee rights and responsibilities.

Florida has a massive senior population, with nearly 4 million residents over the age of 65.  Hundreds of assisted living facilities are spread across the state, employing thousands of employees.  With such a large employment force in the Gainesville, Ocala and Lake City area, it is likely that many employees are improperly being paid and not even aware.  Employees that provide in-home care are often misclassified as exempt employees or independent contractors.  Many more are underpaid as hourly workers, being forced to work “off the clock” or not being compensated for employment related travel or “on call” hours.

The attorneys of Massey & Duffy, PLLC have aggressively represented hundreds of employees in Alachua County, Marion County, Lake County, Columbia County and Levy County.  Our experience extends to all forms of Employment & Labor Law, including the Fair Labor & Standards Act (FLSA), Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  If you are an employee at an assisted living facility and suspect you are being underpaid as a result of your employment, please call our office at (352) 505-8900 to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION.