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California Court Rulings Provide Over $1 Million in Back Wages and Damages

Two U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California court rulings will require the owners of Bay Area nursing homes and residential care facilities to pay dozens of workers denied overtime or minimum wage a total of more than $1 million in damages and back wages.

Following a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigation into San Miguel Homes for the Elderly of Union City that found egregious overtime and minimum wage violations, the company has agreed to pay 26 of its caregivers $425,000 in back wages and damages.

Magistrate Judge Donna Ryu entered a consent judgement on May 17, 2016 in which the company agreed to pay the back wages and damages while also admitting they didn’t may their workers minimum wage or for overtime. During the U.S. Department of Labor investigation, San Miguel Homes owners refused to meet with Wage and Hour Division investigators in December of 2015 while claiming they were not required to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Wage and Hour Division investigators discovered in January of 2016 that the owners forced employees to falsify their timesheets, and also threatened to sue workers who they suspected cooperated with the government investigation.

In a separate ruling on March 7, 2016, a consent judgment was approved by Judge James Donato between the U.S. Department of Labor and Razel Cortez and Elizabeth Palad, the owners of eight Bay Area residential care facilities. The owners are required to pay damages and unpaid wages totaling $643,992 for overtime and minimum wage violations.

Wage and Hour Division investigators discovered that caregivers were misclassified as independent contractors by the employer, failed to record any of the hours employees worked, didn’t provide overtime premiums despite the fact that the employees regularly worked 60 hours per week, and paid workers a flat monthly salary worth far less than minimum wage.

The consent judgement will also require Cortez and Palad to hire a third-party monitor to audit their FLSA compliance, post employee right notices and copies of the consent judgement in both Tagalog and English at all of their facilities, provide each employee with detailed pay stubs every pay period and direct them to review their documents, as well as provide Wage and Hour Division contact information in Tagalog and English with each pay stub.

In the 2015 fiscal year alone, the San Francisco District Office of the Wage and Hour Division concluded investigations of over 100 nursing homes and residential care facilities that resulted in $3 million worth of damages and back wages for over 475 employees. If you have not received overtime wages or are not being payed minimum wage, contact the wage and hour dispute attorneys at Bailey Cowan Heckaman PLLC today for a free case consultation. Our lawyers are ready to assist you in taking action against any employer who doesn’t pay their employees they money they are owed.

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