Rochester homecare company to pay back wages for missed overtime
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) – Nearly 300 employees of a Rochester-based homecare company are getting back wages after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor found they weren’t given overtime pay that they were legally entitled to.
The U.S. Department of Labor says TruCare Connections misapplied state law when it paid home healthcare aides at its Rochester and Syracuse locations straight time for all hours up to 44 hours in a workweek.
In addition to the wage violations, USDOL says TruCare Connections also violated child labor restrictions by employing two 15-year-old workers as personal care aides and allowing them to perform duties not permitted for 15-year-olds. The teens also routinely worked more than 18 hours per week during school weeks. TruCare paid a civil money penalty of $3,640 to the department to resolve the violations.
The CEO of TruCare tells News10NBC that the underpayment of wages involved a small subset of live-in caregivers who reside in the same household as the patient they care for. He says the company’s visit verification software vendor set the overtime threshold at 44 hours for live-in caregivers based on a NY rule and when they found out it violated federal FLSA law, they immediately took corrective measures before the USDOL even began investigating.
TruCare paid out all back wages owed to 251 employees. It was unable to reach 9 ex-employees and per DOL’s recommendation, their back wages were deposited with US Treasury.