Pittsburgh Home Health Care Agency Misclassified Employees Under Federal Law
A U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in Pittsburgh has ordered a payment of more than $1.6 million in back wages and damages to 546 home health aides. Christian Home Healthcare in Pittsburgh misclassified the aides as independent contractors and failed to pay required overtime wages, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Additionally, $20,000 was ordered by the court in civil money penalties.
It was determined that Christian Home Health Care violated the FLSA when the employer:
- Misclassified 546 home health aides as independent contractors instead of employees and failed to pay overtime when they worked in excess of 40 hours per week.
- Continued to pay some aides straight-time for overtime, even after it began to correctly classify them as employees.
- The office staff failed to keep a record of the number of hours worked.
Deputy Solicitor of Labor, Elena Goldstein, stated “Intentionally denying workers their hard-earned wages is unacceptable. This case’s outcome shows our commitment to using all the tools we have available, including the courts, to ensure that employers are held accountable and that workers take home their hard-earned money.”
Independent Contractor vs. Employee – Duties Test
Employers will frequently hire a worker as an “independent contractor” rather than an employee to wrongfully avoid paying overtime wages. Under federal law, an employer cannot hide behind the worker being an “independent contractor” if the worker is not truly independent. Federal law requires an analysis under a duties test, which can be done by an attorney with knowledge and experience in wage and hour law. Employees should find comfort in the fact that avenues to get questions answered exist. Likewise, those who believe they were unfairly treated with relation to wages, overtime, and hours worked have steps available to seek support and guidance in how to proceed.
Call Us Now For Help
If you believe your employer has made you an “independent contractor” in an effort to avoid paying you wages and overtime for all hours worked, just like how Christian Home Healthcare did with their aides, call the Law Office of P. Zachary Stewart now at 304-914-3577 to schedule a free and confidential consultation. You can also contact us online. We can help you get all the wages you earned.