309Write - Calif. nursing home workers get $690,000 in denied overtime and break time pay in court order
The violations occurred from December 2018 to July 2021 at Neldy’s Adult Residential Care Home locations, operated by Neldy’s R.C. Inc., according to a complaint.
The nursing home would split its workers pay into multiple checks to avoid paying overtime wages in violation of federal law, the Labor Department said in its news release. Neldy’s also “deducted meal breaks from workers’ wages when their duties required them to work during their breaks,” the department said.
Unpaid wages mounted past $300,000
The Garden Grove, California-based company must pay $345,348 in back wages, the same amount in damages and another $25,000 in civil penalties. Many workers will get more than $10,000 back from the employer, with one worker set to receive over $47,000, according to the court order. The order outlined a 10-installment payment schedule that began in October.
According to a ProPublica database, Neldy’s R.C. Inc. took out a $527,264 PPP loan in May 2020 it said it would use on payroll. That loan was forgiven.
Previous back pay violations
This wasn’t the first time the business was ordered to pay out back wages, the Labor Department said.
It had to pay just over $1 million to 58 workers for similar violations that occurred from 2013 to 2016.
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More than 1,000 healthcare wage theft cases in 2022
Neldy’s R.C. Inc. is among the latest businesses to be nabbed by the federal agency in recent months. The healthcare industry racked up more than 1,000 cases of wage theft last year, according to department data.
At $14,994,106 recovered in back pay, it trailed only the food service and construction industries.
Other recent high-profile wage theft cases
Krispy Kreme: The donut chain agreed to pay $1.2 million to hundreds of workers nationwide who were allegedly denied full overtime pay. It admitted no wrongdoing.
Jay’s Kitchen: The North Carolina restaurant was ordered to pay $157,000 in back wages and damages after the Labor Department said it violated tipping laws.
Empire Diner: The Philly-area eatery allegedly used its waiters’ tips to pay bussers. A judge ruled it owed employees $1.35 million. The diner’s owner said he planned to appeal the decision.
Black's Barbecue: The Texas chain split its workers’ tips with supervisors in violation of an updated tipping rule. “We're barbecue experts, we're not payroll experts," one of the restaurant owners, told the Austin-American Statesman, part of the USA TODAY Network. The company repaid $230,000.