A company managing long-term care facilities in four states will pay almost $3 million in back overtime pay to 3,024 workers across 84 locations, the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division announced Tuesday.
The department said that Petersen Health Care of Peoria, IL, did not pay overtime wages or wages for meal periods lasting less than 20 minutes, did not add bonuses and other incentive pay to workers’ hourly rates when calculating overtime pay, and did not maintain accurate records of work hours. The total amount Petersen was ordered to pay is $2,939,576.
“As healthcare industry employers struggle to retain and recruit workers to provide the services necessary for their businesses to succeed, failing to respect workers’ rights and pay workers their full wages means that these essential workers will look elsewhere for employment,” Wage and Hour Division Acting Administrator Jessica Looman said in a statement.
Petersen Health Care manages skilled nursing, assisted living, memory care and rehabilitation facilities in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Missouri.
In addition to agreeing to pay the overtime back wages, the company’s primary owner and CEO, Mark Petersen, signed an enhanced compliance agreement with the department to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act in the future, according to the Labor Department.
The Wage and Hour Division said that the company systematically had violated wage and hour laws on numerous occasions in as many as 30 investigations in the past two decades. A 2009 consent judgment ordered Petersen to pay $42,000 and to comply with the FLSA. In the past six years, the division said, it had found back wages of $88,000 due in seven investigations that incorporated findings at several other locations.
Petersen Health Care had not responded to a request for comment by the McKnight’s Business Daily production deadline.