On December 1, the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division announced a new enforcement initiative concentrating on pay practices among North Carolina residential care industry employers. The initiative will target group homes, elder care facilities and other businesses providing residential care. DOL based the initiative on perceived widespread non-compliance by North Carolina companies with regard to minimum wage, overtime and recordkeeping requirements.
Within this industry, wage and hour violations commonly include questions of what is considered working time. Residential care facilities often have 24-hour or similar shifts, and employees can only be taken off the clock during the shift if certain requirements are followed. Employers that pay overtime sometimes do not apply the required premium for these extra hours.
The enforcement initiative means that DOL investigators will conduct audits of industry employers whether or not a complaint has been filed regarding wage practices. North Carolina employers in this targeted industry should review their pay practices and recordkeeping, and be prepared to respond in the event of a DOL compliance audit.