From the Heart Companion Service LLC, a home care service provider in Pennsylvania paid $383,183 in back wages and liquidated damages to caregivers who were not paid overtime.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), From the Heart Companion Service LLC provides home care for elderly and physically challenged individuals. Janis Mandich Durick establish the company in 2006. It has facilities in Trafford, Irwin, Greensburg, Erie, and Hollidaysburg.
The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division investigated From the Heart Companion Service LLC and found that it violated the Fair Labor Standards Act. The home care service provider failed to pay overtime to 46 caregivers at its four facilities.
Form the Heart Companion Service LLC owed $96,350.45 in back wages to 25 caregivers at its facility in Traffor. The home care service provider owed $53,896.89 to 11 caregivers in Irwin, $25,811.52 to two caregivers in Greensberg, and $15,532.85 in Erie.
According to the DOL, the home care service provider agreed to pay all the back wages totaling $191,591.71 and an equal amount in liquidated damages to the affected caregivers to resolve its violation.
In a statement, Pittsburgh Wage and Hour Division District Director John Dumont said, “Professional caregivers provide vital support and services to some of the most vulnerable populations. They must receive all of their rightfully earned wages.”
“The outcome of our investigations at From the Heart Companion Service LLC should remind other employers to review their pay practices to avoid costly penalties. We encourage them to contact the Wage and Hour Division with any questions, and to avoid compliance issues,” added Dumont.
In March 2022, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that 716,000 health care and social assistance workers left their positions in Januray and 699,000 (preliminary) left their jobs in February. The bureau projected that the employment for home health and personal care aides will increase by 33% by 2030 as the U.S. aging population grows. The demand for healthcare workers is growing faster the avreage for all other occupations–adding 1.1 million new jobs.
Dumont noted, “Healthcare workers are in great demand and facing record burnout.” He further stated that employers in the industry will have a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining workers if they comply with the law.
“Employers unsure about their legal obligations should contact the U.S. Department of Labor to prevent costly violations and ensure they are able to compete as an employer,” said Dumont.
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