06/13/2013 // Keller Grover LLP // Eric Grover // (press release)
The California Labor Commissioner’ office has cited a Fresno assisted living facility for over $1.6 million for labor law violations that affected 11 caregivers from November 2011 to April 2013, reports San Francisco employment lawyer Eric Grover.
Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su ordered the Bedford Care Group to pay $1,398,890 in unpaid overtime, $17,025 in unpaid minimum wage, and $95,053 in meal and rest period premiums to eleven workers employed at six of the Bedford Care Group facilities in Fresno and Clovis.
In addition, the Bedford Care Center was fined an additional $114,500 stemming from the violations. In all, the Bedford Care Center was fined $1,625,468.
Su asserted that the assisted living facility violated labor laws, which included unpaid minimum wage and overtime, meal and rest break violations, as well as the failure to issue itemized wage statements.
“Residential caregivers perform some of the most important work in our communities, providing reliable, compassionate care to those who need it, but they can work very long hours without proper overtime pay,” said Labor Commissioner Su said in a statement.
The staff lived onsite and was required to be available when needed. That meant that in many cases they could work up to 24 hours per day without compensation. Wage and hour law mandates that all non-exempt workers are paid overtime for those hours worked above a standard 8-hour day. Accurate record keeping is also required and Bedford failed to provide itemized wage statements.
The complaints were issued following interviews and audits of 11 caregivers from November 2011 to April 2013, which revealed the violations.
“As Commissioner Su noted, assisted living workers provide services that require long days filled with compassion for their charges, and they deserve to be properly compensated,” says Grover, a San Francisco employment lawyer. “But no matter what industry you work in, you’re entitled to be paid for all work performed. Any employer that fails to pay overtime or allow for mandated meal and rest breaks is guilty of wage theft and can be held accountable. Knowing your rights is the first step towards fighting for what is rightfully yours.”
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