In 2009, the federal Department of Labor started a special enforcement program targeting board and care facilities for aged, disabled and sick persons. DOL justified the effort based on its discovery of widespread violation of overtime and minimum wage laws by industry members.
Last month, DOL announced that it has collected $2.1 million in back pay for home health care, group home, nursing facilities and other related businesses. The agency mentioned particularly severe violations among group home facilities in or near major North Carolina cities. These violations included working employees off the clock, not paying for meetings or other administrative time, paying a fixed salary instead of overtime and misapplication of DOL rules on deduction of sleeping time.
DOL's announcement does not indicate an end to the special enforcement program. North Carolina employers in the residential care business should expect continuing inspections, fines and enforcement actions based on their wage payment and recordkeeping policies and procedures.