The United States Department of Labor announced a recovery of back wages and damages for benefit advisors who were misclassified as independent contractors.
Investigation findings: U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigators found the healthcare benefits services company misclassified its employees as independent contractors and paid them straight-time rates for all hours worked, including hours over 40 in a workweek. By doing so, the employer did not pay the additional half-time rate for overtime as the Fair Labor Standards Act requires. In addition, Senior Healthcare Advisors failed to include earned commissions into some employees’ regular pay rates, and paid overtime at lower rates than the FLSA requires as a result.
The employer also failed to provide a general notice to its employees informing them of their Family and Medical Leave Act rights.
Back Wages and Liquidated Damages Recovered: $106,248 for 68 workers
Quote: “Misclassifying workers as independent contractors denies them wage protections and other important benefits, making makes it harder for them to provide for themselves and their families,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Daniel Cronin in Miami. “We encourage employers to contact the Wage and Hour Division to ensure their pay practices comply with the law, and invite employees to contact us with any questions or concerns.”
Background: Senior Healthcare Advisors LLC operates Medicare benefits call centers out of Deerfield Beach and Pembroke Pines and sells Medicare policies on behalf of national insurance carriers.
Employers can contact the Wage and Hour Division at its toll-free number, 1-866-4-US-WAGE. The division also offers numerous online resources for employers, such as a fact sheet on Fair Labor Standards Act wage laws overtime requirements and resources on misclassification of employees as independent contractors. Workers who feel they may not be getting the wages they earned may contact a Wage and Hour Division representative in their state through a list and interactive online map on the agency’s website. Workers and employers alike can help ensure hours worked and pay are accurate by downloading the department’s Android Timesheet App for free.