Beaumont Health will pay $400,007 in back wages to employees of two Michigan senior living and care communities after automatically deducting time for meal breaks from their recorded work time even when the workers were unable to take those breaks, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.

Beaumont cooperated with the division during the investigation and made necessary corrections enterprise-wide to ensure that employees are paid for all hours worked, as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Labor Department said.

The back wages will be paid to 283 employees ($250,659) of Beaumont Commons – Dearborn, a continuing care retirement community, and to 193 employees ($149,348) of Botsford Commons Farmington Hills, a retirement community offering a continuum of care.

The automatic meal break deductions made when workers didn’t take breaks resulted in unpaid work hours and in overtime violations when employees worked more than 40 hours in a workweek, the Labor Department said. Also, they meant that Beaumont did not accurately record the number of hours employees worked, resulting in recordkeeping violations under the FLSA, according to the department.

“Employers are responsible for ensuring that they pay all employees the wages they have legally earned and for keeping accurate records of the number of hours they work,” Wage and Hour District Director Timolin Mitchell said in a statement. “We encourage employers to contact us for guidance, and to use the wide variety of tools we offer to help them fully understand their responsibilities. Violations like those found in this case can be avoided.”