Indian-American employer ordered to pay $69K overtime
New York (IANS) An Indian-origin owner and operator of three nursing homes in the US state of Michigan had to pay back $69,000 to managers who were not paid their overtime, according to a federal investigation.
Amee Patel owned and managed Chesaning Nursing Center, as well as Beaconshire Nursing Center and Westwood Nursing Center in Detroit.
The Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor recovered the entire amount owed in back wages and damages to 45 managers who worked at these three centers.
It was discovered that Patel paid the managers hourly wages when they worked fewer than 40 hours per week and salaried wages when they worked more than 40 hours.
According to the investigation, Patel voided their claim that the managers were overtime exempt by regularly switching their status from hourly to salary.
“Business owners cannot arbitrarily decide to pay employees on a salary some weeks and hourly others. Amee Patel clearly violated federal laws by denying workers at her healthcare facilities their full pay “Timolin Mitchell, District Director of the Wage and Hour Division in Detroit, stated.
For Patel’s repeated violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the division assessed and received $7,938 in civil monetary penalties.
In 2018, federal investigators discovered that Patel violated overtime regulations by failing to compensate drivers for all travel and wait times.
She failed to pay employees for mandatory trainings in 2015.
The division recovered $17,173 in back wages for 12 Beaconshire Nursing Center employees, $14,205 in back wages for 21 Westwood Nursing Center employees, and $3,133 in back wages for 12 Chesaning Nursing Center employees.
Patel also paid the same amount in liquidated damages, totaling $69,022.
The Detroit district office recovered nearly $2.2 million in back wages and liquidated damages for nearly 3,000 workers in Eastern Michigan in fiscal year 2022, nearly $500,000 of which was owed to healthcare workers.