U.S. Dept. of Labor: 6 Beaumont health centers pay back almost $1M in back wages

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    Six Beaumont Affiliated Health and Rehabilitation Centers in the metro Detroit area have paid $915,223 in back wages to 1,389 employees after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) found the Centers in violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

    Investigators found the facilities — managed by Premier Healthcare Management Inc. in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan — failed to pay employees for time they worked during their meal breaks, and before and after their scheduled shifts. The employer automatically deducted meal breaks from employees’ work time. But workers were often unable to take those breaks. Work performed prior to and after employees’ scheduled shifts was neither recorded nor paid for.

    “The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to ensuring that every employee receives the wages they have rightfully earned,” said Wage and Hour District Director Timolin Mitchell in Detroit. “Other employers should use the outcome of this investigation as an opportunity to review their own pay practices, and ensure that they are in compliance. 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.”

    AG plans clampdown on ‘payroll fraud’

    In Michigan, workers racked up about $429 million in lost wages between 2013 and 2015, according to a 2017 report by the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning policy think tank in Washington, D.C. Nationally, 1.4 million employers owed $45.6 billion in taxes, interest and penalties, according to a 2015 report by the U.S. Treasury Department.

    Attorney General Dana Nessel | Susan J. Demas

    In April, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced her office will establish a Payroll Fraud Enforcement Unit. Democratic lawmakers also have introduced a package to crack down on wage theft.

    In addition to paying back wages, Premier Healthcare Management has agreed to conduct training for its employees, to provide WHD Fact Sheet #33 on Residential Care Facilities to all employees, and to conduct quarterly reviews of payroll and time records to ensure compliance with wage laws.

    The investigation recovered back wages for employees at Beaumont Affiliated Health and Rehabilitation Centers in West Bloomfield in West Bloomfield, Woodward Hills in Bloomfield Hills, Evergreen in Southfield, Shelby in Shelby Charter Township, as well as Shorepoint and the Shorepoint Village Assisted Living Facility, both located in Saint Clair Shores.

    For more information about the FLSA, and other laws enforced by WHD, contact the Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available online, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.

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    Susan J. Demas is an 18-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.

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