05/31/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/31/2023 07:00
MINNEAPOLIS - The U.S. Department of Labor has obtained a consent judgment in federal court requiring the operator of a home healthcare provider franchise in Golden Valley to pay $121,000 in back overtime wages and liquidated damages to 25 certified nursing and patient care assistants after a federal investigation found the employer denied them overtime pay.
On May 22, 2023, U.S. District Court Judge Paul A. Magnusonfor the District of Minnesota entered a consent judgment in which Getch Inc. - operating as Amada Senior Care Twin Cities - and its owner, Gregory B. Getchell, agreed to pay the monies owed to the affected employees. The order also forbids the employers from future violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
"Home healthcare employees work long hours to assist clients with daily living tasks that enable them to maintain dignity and live at home, yet all too often we find industry employers violating overtime rules and denying these care workers their rightful wages," explained Wage and Hour Division District Director Kristin Tout in Minneapolis.
The court's action follows a review of Amada Senior Care Twin Cities' employment practices by the department's Wage and Hour Division from Oct. 9, 2019, to Oct. 6, 2021. Investigators found Getch Inc. violated federal law by paying a flat daily rate to workers who provided live-in assistance with self-care and daily living activities. By doing so, the employer failed to pay overtime as required when the employees worked more than 40 hours in a workweek.
The division also alleged that the employer's pay records gave the appearance that overtime had been paid when it had not been paid. The division further asserted Getch misapplied rules exempting employees from eligibility for overtime pay and failed to pay overtime wages owed to an Amada Senior Care Twin Cities office worker. These actions violated the FLSA's overtime and recordkeeping provisions.
The department filed a complaint in federal court in Minneapolis on July 25, 2022."Based on the department's investigation, the court held Getch Inc. responsible for paying its workers overtime wages," said Regional Solicitor of Labor Christine Heri in Chicago. "The Department of Labor is committed to fighting for justice for workers denied their rightfully earned wages."
Founded in 2007, Amada Senior Care is a San Juan Capistrano, California-based company with more than 100 franchise locations throughout the U.S. Amada care providers offer care services for seniors and their families, including in-home senior care, senior housing advising, home monitoring and financial care coordination.
In March 2023, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 738,000 healthcare and social assistance workers left their positions and the field had more than 1.6 million openings.As the aging U.S. population grows and demand for home healthcare services increases, employment in a variety of healthcare occupations is projected to grow 13 percent from 2021 to 2031- faster than the average for all occupations - adding about 2 million new jobs.
For more information about the FLSAand other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the division's toll-free helpline confidentially at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). The division protects workers regardless of where they are from and can communicate with workers in more than 200 languages.Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search toolto use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.Download the agency's new Timesheet App, which is available in English and Spanish for Android and Apple devices,to ensure hours and pay are accurate.
Walsh v. Getch Inc., Gregory B. Getchell
U.S. District Court District of Minnesota