The United States Department of Labor (DOL), and its Secretary of Labor, Martin J. Walsh, filed a lawsuit against Best Choice Home Health Care Agency, Inc (Best Choice) over alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) on Tuesday.
Walsh claimed that the company, Best Choice, “unlawfully withheld and continues to withhold unpaid minimum wage and overtime compensation from certain employees.” The plaintiffs are seeking to permanently enjoin the defendant from committing any future violations of the FLSA, as well as liquidated damages and interest on the unpaid balance.
The defendant is a company that provides personal care staffing services. Many of their employees are involved in commerce, meaning they engage in the “handling, selling, or otherwise working on goods or materials that have been moved in or produced for commerce by any person.” Under the FLSA, the company is defined as an enterprise engaged in commerce or the production/manufacturing of goods for commerce. According to the same act, the company reportedly must maintain certain basic business practices, specifically, they must compensate their employees fairly for their work.
The plaintiff explained that not only has Best Choice failed to compensate certain employees for their hours, but they have also had specific employees work longer than 40 hours a week without compensating them appropriately based on the standard overtime rate, which is one-half times the regular rate. Further, Walsh contended in the complaint that Best Choice has “failed to make, keep, and preserve adequate and accurate records of Defendant’s employees and of the wages, hours, and other working conditions and practices of employment.” This includes the total working hours for each day and total pay amount for overtime hours.
All of the above observations constitute blatant violations of the FLSA, the DOL claimed. The plaintiff argued that Best Choice has complete knowledge of the illegality of their actions, yet they continually fail to make any changes to their practices and procedures. They are seeking liquidated damages as well as interest on the remaining unpaid balances, in addition to an order enjoining the defendant from any further violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The plaintiff is represented by attorneys with the DOL.