UNION CITY, Calif. — Federal investigators have found a home care company based in Union City has been failing to pay its workers properly, and this isn’t the first time.
On Thursday, Sept. 28, the U.S. Department of Labor announced it had recovered $47,000 in back wages and damages for 10 workers from San Jose Care Homes for the Elderly LLC, which intentionally violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by denying workers their earned overtime pay. In 2016, the company was required to pay $425,000 in back wages and damages to 26 employees for a similar offense.
“This case clearly shows we will hold employers accountable when they try to steal from the people who allow their businesses to flourish,” Wage and Hour Division District Director Susana Blanco said in a statement. “Those who willfully and repeatedly steal from their workers can face litigation and the possibility of losing their businesses.”
This all stems from the company choosing not to pay its workers their rightful overtime, which is against the Fair Labor Standards Act. In the U.S., if you work more than 40 hours a week, you should get one and a half times what you usually get paid for each hour.
Federal investigators discovered that San Jose Care Homes, which has two locations in Union City, knew it was supposed to pay its workers overtime if they work more than 40 hours a week. Instead, the company paid the first 80 hours in a pay period correctly and through regular payroll, while any overtime hours were paid at the normal rate with personal checks or cash, not through the usual payroll system.
In the end, the company had to pay the 10 employees a total of $23,579 for unpaid overtime and another $23,579 for damages. It also had to pay $8,310 in civil penalties.
In 2022, there were 5,905 cases in the U.S. where employers didn’t pay their employees for overtime work, adding up to $134.5 million in stolen wages from over 110,000 workers. On average, the Wage and Hour Division got back $1,393 for each worker owed money.
For more information on workers’ rights and a tool to check to see if you are owed back wages, visit the Wage and Hour Division website. Both employers and workers can confidentially contact division staff for inquiries in over 200 languages through the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). The agency also offers a free Timesheet App in English and Spanish for Android devices to help track work hours and pay.