OKLAHOMA CITY – While nursing home workers continue to put themselves at-risk as the nation battles the ongoing pandemic, federal investigators found that the pay practices of three Oklahoma City-area nursing homes denied 129 workers all of their hard-earned wages.
Investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division determined that Heritage Village Retirement Center in Holdenville, Henryetta Community Skilled Healthcare & Rehabilitation in Henryetta and Colonial Park Manor in Okemah failed to count on-site and off-site meetings, on-boarding activities, and web-based training as hours worked. When the additional hours resulted in a workweek that exceeded 40 hours, the employer should have paid the overtime rate as the Fair Labor Standards Act requires.
The investigation led the division to recover $27,135 in back wages for the affected workers. The nursing homes’ operator cooperated with investigators and changed policies to require all training to be completed on-site during work hours to avoid future violations and ensure they pay workers for all hours worked.
“Nursing home workers use their vital skills to care for people in need. At the height of the pandemic, they were the sole source of companionship and care when facilities closed their doors to visitors,” said Wage and Hour District Director Michael Speer in Oklahoma City. “Ensuring these workers receive all of their wages is an agency priority, and we welcome the changes made by the employer to ensure workers are paid for all the hours they work, including time spent in training and meetings.”
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division. Workers can call the Wage and Hour Division confidentially with questions – regardless of their immigration status – and the department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages.