LINDEN, TN – Amid the pandemic, Linden hospital essential healthcare workers demonstrated their commitment to their jobs and communities when they worked long hours at a risk to themselves and their families. Yet, the hospital failed to meet its responsibilities to 72 of these workers when it did not pay them in accordance with federal law. Underpayment and missed payrolls added financial stress to the enormous burden already carried by the workers.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division cited Expertus Health LLC – operator of Perry Community Hospital – for missing three payrolls in November 2020, which led to minimum wage and overtime violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Investigators also found the facility illegally deducted break time from employees’ hours of work, despite federal law requiring that employers pay for short breaks periods.
The investigation also identified other concerns in Perry Community Hospital’s pay practices, including:Paying employees straight time for all the hours they worked and failing to pay overtime when employees worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. Failing to include earned bonuses, such as incentive pay, in the calculation of overtime pay. Misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor and paying the worker straight time and failing to pay overtime even when the employee worked over 40 in a workweek.
The division recovered $163,785 in back wages for 72 workers.
“Healthcare workers provided essential services at great risk and personal sacrifice as the pandemic raged. They deserve to be paid all of their legally earned wages on their regularly scheduled payday, as the Fair Labor Standards Act requires,” said Wage and Hour Division Acting District Director Pamela Sullivan in Nashville, Tennessee. “Employers and employees alike are encouraged to contact the Wage and Hour Division to learn more about their obligations and rights under federal law. Violations like these are avoidable.”
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.
Workers can call the Wage and Hour Division confidentially with questions – regardless of their immigration status – and the department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages.