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Two nursing facilities ordered to pay back wages

Two nursing facilities have been ordered to pay a total of $513,368 in back wages and liquidation damages to 231 nursing staff for Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) violations.

The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania has approved a consent judgment ordering Spring Creek SNF, operator of Spring Creek Rehab and Nursing Center in Harrisburg and Franklin Center OPCO, operator of Laurel Lakes Rehab and Wellness Center, Chambersburg, to pay for the violations found during a federal review of the employers’ pay practices.

The consent judgment resolves the complaint filed by the U.S. Department of Labor alleging overtime and recordkeeping violations.

The litigation and judgment follow an investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division that revealed Spring Creek and Franklin Center paid non-discretionary bonuses to nursing staff but failed to include the incentives in their rate of pay when calculating overtime rates.

The judgment said the employers paid bonuses for working particular shifts, picking up extra shifts and providing needed support during the pandemic. The investigation also revealed that the employers failed to maintain proper records of hours worked.

“Our investigation found a common and costly error employers make, the failure to include non-discretionary bonuses in an employee’s regular rate of pay when calculating overtime rates,” explained Wage and Hour District Director Alfonso Gristina. “The Wage and Hour Division encourages employers to use the online tools and assistance we offer to avoid compliance issues and reminds workers that they can contact us with questions about their wages and rates of pay.”