The Lengthy-Time period Well being Care Business Faces New, Intense USDOL Scrutiny: Make Positive You Are FLSA Compliant! | Fox Rothschild LLP

The Lengthy-Time period Well being Care Business Faces New, Intense USDOL Scrutiny: Make Positive You Are FLSA Compliant! | Fox Rothschild LLP

I’ve defended dozens of nursing houses, house well being companies, residential care facilities and different well being care suppliers in audits of their wage practices by the US. Division of Labor (“DOL”) and state DOLs.  I’ve come to be taught that there are distinctive wage hour points and challenges on this trade and that many well-meaning employers, in search of to adjust to the regulation, step on regulatory landmines and find yourself in bother.

Effectively, buckle up.  The USDOL is stepping up its audit/enforcement efforts on this trade, which it believes is rife with violations.  (And, it’s proper!) This follows the 2021 implementation of a nationwide scrutiny; this has, thus far, resulted in virtually 2000 investigations, restoration of just about $30,000,000 in again wages and greater than $1,000,000 in agency-imposed penalties, i.e., Civil Cash Penalties.

The most important difficulty is failure to pay time beyond regulation or preserve correct information however there was a surge in DOL litigations alleging misclassification violations, i.e., misclassifying folks as impartial contractors.  The info reveals that the Southeast (e.g., Alabama, Florida) is being centered on however that enforcement “cloud” will definitely unfold to all elements of the nation.  In these audits of southern amenities, the company discovered violations in 90% of the audits undertaken.  Greater than $16,000,000 in again wages has been secured for greater than 13,000 employees.

The DOL warns that employers ought to “evaluate their pay practices to make sure they adjust to the regulation.”  These practices ought to give attention to the distinctive wage-hour points going through employers within the well being care trade, corresponding to on-call time insurance policies and preliminary and postliminary work, which entails employees coming in early to carry out duties associated to their main jobs.  I’ve discovered this to be a problem within the audits of well being care amenities I’ve dealt with.

The Takeaway

The very best safety is to conduct or have wage-hour counsel conduct, a full-scale audit of all an employer’s pay practices, which means scrutiny of exemption classifications, impartial contractor classification, working time insurance policies, on-call insurance policies, bonus and fee insurance policies and recordkeeping.  That form of evaluate offers the employer a superb baseline.  I’ve executed dozens of those for shoppers, the top outcome being a bullet-pointed report, sans legalese, that apprises the employer of the nice, dangerous and the ugly in its compensation protocols.  And, most significantly, learn how to repair what’s improper!

An oz of prevention,,,

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