DoL Slaps CA Health Worker Firms with FLSA Suit

August 17, 2005 ( - Federal officials have filed suit against two California-based health care agencies, alleging that they didn't pay proper overtime wages for 31 employees and violated the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

An news report said the US Department of Labor (DoL) suit filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of California is seeking a total of $3.1 million in unpaid wages, damages, and interest.

The DoL suit against Jasmine Hall Care Homes Inc. and Hall Care Homes Inc. and George and Estela Hall, who operated the care facilities, seeks $1.57 million in back wages for work performed between June 1, 2002 and June 1, 2005, and damages and interest, for a total of $3,151,089.

The workers provided around-the-clock care to adults with severe mental disabilities at six Sacramento-area facilities managed by the two defendant companies. The suit alleges that workers typically lived in the care homes with the patients at least five days per week, working 24 hours a day and approximately 120 hours a work week.

Although the workers were salaried, they were not exempt from federal minimum wage and overtime laws, according to the DoL. Federal investigators say that when they computed total salary for all hours worked, employee pay dropped to somewhere between $2 and $4 per hour, well below the federal minimum wage of $5.15 an hour.