One of the largest home care groups in New York City has agreed to pay millions of dollars to resolve wage and hour violations.
The home care group is made up of Intergen Health LLC and Amazing Home Care Services LLC, who share ownership and employees. Intergen and Amazing Home Care primarily serve New York’s Medicaid population, according to a recent announcement from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office.
âIn New York, we are fighting to protect all workers, including those who work for private homes,â de Blasio said in the ad. âHome health workers take care of our families and not only deserve paid vacation and sick leave, it’s their right. To any New York City business that thinks it can get away with denying workers’ rights and breaking our laws: we’ll hold you accountable. “
The announcement – which is part of an ongoing home health enforcement initiative – was made jointly with New York State Attorney General Letitia James, as well as the Department of Consumer Protection. and workers (DCWP).
âHome helpers provide vital support to our vulnerable loved ones,â said DCWP Commissioner Peter A. Hatch. âUnfortunately, these invaluable workers often face exploitative working conditions that violate important labor protections.â
A joint investigation reportedly revealed that Intergen Health and Amazing Home Care violated paid sickness and safety leave laws in several ways, including failing to pay employees when they took time off or firing employees who took time off. unscheduled leave. The home health group further demanded that employees submit documents explaining why they use the time off and did not provide a formal policy for safety and sick leave, according to New York officials.
On top of all this, the ad claims that Intergen Health and Amazing Home Care refused to pay overtime when employees worked more than 40 hours per week, miscalculated overtime rates, and refused to pay. workers for time spent traveling between patients.
To settle the allegations, Intergen Health and Amazing Home Care agreed to pay $ 18.6 million in restitution and adopt “extensive compliance measures.” The restitution will be divided into two phases.
In the first phase, home care providers will pay around $ 2 million to compensate 6,500 employees affected by violations of paid safety and sick leave laws, as well as four employees who were unlawfully terminated. Suppliers will also pay $ 5.2 million to compensate approximately 12,000 employees for New York employment law violations.
In phase two, which is resolved in coordination with a private lawsuit, there will be a maximum payment of approximately $ 11.5 million for resident workers. This amount is subject to court approval.
“Home helpers are on the front line at the service of the most vulnerable in our communities, but these agencies have denied them the most basic form of dignity and respect: a fair salary for a hard day’s work,” said the prosecutor. General James in the ad. “These hard-working New Yorkers deserve not only the salary they have been unfairly denied, but the assurance that it won’t happen again – and that’s exactly what this deal will do.”
The case was DCWP’s largest investigation into violations of paid safety and sick leave to date. This week’s news builds on previously announced deals by the department with home health agencies – nearly three dozen in total.
“Let this be a warning to all employers: abusive and illegal labor practices will not be tolerated in New York,” continued James.
New York’s aggressive surveillance of work-from-home abuse began to escalate in July 2017. In September 2018, officials shared the findings of an investigation of 42 home health agencies that together employed more than 50,000 workers.
âIt’s similar to what we’re seeing from the US Department of Labor, where they’ve identified the home care industry as a high-risk industry when it comes to its employees and their treatment,â Angelo said. Spinola, legal expert in home care. Health care news at the time. “It seems like [DCWP] identifies and intentionally targets home care companies with the idea of ââsending a message to the industry that it needs to take [labor] laws seriously.
HHCN was unable to reach Intergen Health and Amazing Home Care Services.