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W.Va. home health firm pays $280K in back wages

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. — The U.S. Department of Labor has ordered a subsidy of ResCare Inc. to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of back wages to employees the company incorrectly classified.

RSCR West Virginia Inc., doing business as Community Alternatives WV, is a subsidiary of ResCare Inc. The company provides home health care for individuals with disabilities throughout West Virginia. The investigation involved locations in Stonewood, Clarksburg, Keyser, Parkersburg, Buckhannon, Huntington and Charleston.

Investigators from the Department’s Wage and Hour Division found Community Alternatives WV incorrectly classified 55 employees working as salaried service coordinators and therapeutic consultants as exempt from overtime, resulting in violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act when those employees worked more than 40 hours in a work week but did not receive overtime. Additionally, the employer did not keep accurate time and attendance records, according to Labor officials.

Judge John Preston Bailey of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia approved a consent judgment between the Department and the employer. As a result of the judgment, ResCare paid a total of $279,919 in back wages and damages to 55 employees. This included $139,959 in back wages and an additional equal amount in liquidated damages for all affected employees.

“It is an employer’s responsibility to know and implement the labor laws that apply to them and to ensure that these laws are followed throughout their organizations,” said John DuMont, director of the division’s Pittsburgh District Office.

Employers cannot assume that paying a worker a salary or calling them a manager or coordinator means the employee isn’t entitled to overtime, DuMont said.

“There are very specific criteria that must be met for an employee to be exempt from those requirements. We are committed, through both enforcement and education, to ensuring a level playing field for businesses and a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work for all employees,” he said.

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