The United States Department of Labor found that home health aides were misclassified at independent contractors.
DAYTON, OH – A federal investigation has recovered $133,661 in back wages for 63 workers of a Dayton home healthcare provider who misclassified its employees as independent contractors, denied workers overtime pay and falsified payroll records to hide the violations.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division determined Reliable Home Health Care LLC and its owner Sheikuna Omar misclassified office staff and home health aides as independent contractors. The employer then paid workers straight time for hours over 40 in a workweek, a violation of federal law. The division’s investigation disclosed the firm falsified their payroll records in an attempt to hide their violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
“Reliable Home Health Care workers provided around-the-clock, daily living assistance and delivered essential care to people in need, yet their employer denied workers their earned overtime wages and then falsified records to create an appearance of compliance with the law,” explained Wage and Hour Division District Director Matthew Utley in Columbus, Ohio.
“Misclassification of employees as independent contractors and overtime violations are all too common in the home healthcare industry. The U.S. Department of Labor will protect the rights of workers who commit themselves to the care of others and ensure they are paid all their legally earned wages so they, in turn, can take care of themselves and their families,” Utley said.
Based in Dayton, Reliable Home Health Care provides skilled nursing care, physical and occupational therapy, home healthcare and speech therapy services. The company also operates offices in Columbus and Cincinnati.
In May 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the 717,000 healthcare and social services workers left their positions and the field had more than 2 million openings. As the aging U.S. population grows and demand for home healthcare services increases, employment in a variety of healthcare sectors is projected to grow 16 percent from 2020 to 2030 – faster than the average for all occupations – adding about 2.6 million new jobs.
“For a healthcare employer to succeed in this competitive industry they must recruit and retain qualified workers. When workers are not paid their full wages, they may look elsewhere for employment,” Utley added.
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division. Download the agency’s new Timesheet App for android devices to ensure hours and pay are accurate.