Hey Compliance Warriors!
Here is an example of a question I get quite often. One employee, two employers, common ownership – even with different tax ID #s – equals potential overtime violations if not handled properly. The fact that liquidated damages were assessed probably means the DOL found the violations were not an “oopsy” but more of a “let’s give this a try”. Read on…
An Indianapolis employer assigned home healthcare workers to shifts at two related companies but failed to combine the hours, denying them earned overtime pay when they worked more than 40 hours per week for the same employer.
Under terms of a consent judgment, a federal court ordered Timothy Paul, owner of both Heal at Home LLC and TPS Caregiving LLC – operating as Comfort Keepers – to pay $215,859 in overtime back wages and an additional $216,938 in liquidated damages and interest to 171 workers. In the decision issued, Jan. 20, 2022, Judge Sarah Evans Barker also enjoined the employer from violating the Fair Labor Standards Act in the future.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found that the employer violated the FLSA when it issued workers separate checks at “straight time” for hours worked at each facility when it should have combined hours and paid overtime at time and one-half employee’s rate of pay when employees exceeded 40 hours a week.
“When an employer assigns workers to multiple facilities they must combine all hours worked and pay earned overtime. By failing to do so, they deny workers the wages they have rightfully earned,” said Wage and Hour District Director Patricia Lewis in Indianapolis. “Home healthcare workers provide their clients with skills that are essential to their well-being and dignity. Their employers have an obligation to compensate these workers all their hard-earned wages.”