Personal care assistance agencies violated labor laws, failed to pay COVID funding to workers; 137 workers owed $79K
As part of a compliance initiative, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) found five personal care assistance (PCA) agencies violated wage and hour laws, of which four did not pay or failed to correctly pay workers COVID-19-related funding. DLI recovered a total of more than $79,000 in back-wages owed to 137 workers.
In its investigations, DLI's Labor Standards unit determined the PCA agencies it investigated failed to pay employees' wages for all the hours they worked at the correct rate of pay. It also found some of the PCA agencies did not correctly use temporary funds allocated by the Minnesota Legislature in 2020 to increase wages, salaries and benefits for direct support workers, such as PCA employees.
"Personal care assistants have physically and mentally demanding jobs and provide vital services to their fellow Minnesotans. They deserve to be paid all the wages they have earned," said DLI Commissioner Nicole Blissenbach. "As part of this initiative, we found employers failed to pay employees for all hours worked and overtime for hours worked beyond 40 hours in a week. We are glad to get these workers the wages they are owed."
DLI investigators found the PCA agencies committed the following violations:
AbbeyCare Choice, Inc. made illegal deductions from employees' wages for hours they worked. DLI recovered $2,003 in back-wages for four employees.
Activeagingalliancecorporation.com, doing business as A-1 Reliable Home Care Inc., failed to pay the wages of some of its employees, including overtime wages, and failed to pay the COVID-19 temporary pay increase. DLI recovered $48,605.89 in back-wages for 42 employees.
Bella Mente Inc. violated overtime and other pay requirements and did not correctly pay employees the COVID-19 temporary pay increase. DLI recovered $13,935.22 in back-wages owed to 53 employees.
Comfort at Home LLC did not properly pay the temporary COVID-19 pay increase to workers, overtime compensation and wages for all hours employees worked. DLI recovered $5,655.37 in back-wages owed to 10 workers.
Trust Home Care LLC violated overtime and other pay requirements and did not correctly pay employees the COVID-19 temporary pay increase. DLI recovered $9,224.95 in back-wages owed to 28 employees.
As part of this compliance initiative into the PCA industry, DLI found – and educated – any PCA employers that did not provide employee notices or change notices regarding wage rates as required by law.
DLI, in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Human Services, continues to provide quarterly training to new PCA employers to inform them of their workplace rights and responsibilities.
DLI also continues to educate PCA workers about their rights and the agency's ability to assist them. For more information about laws relevant to the PCA industry, visit dli.mn.gov/pca-cfss.
DLI's Labor Standards unit assists workers and employers, regardless of the languages they speak. Staff members speak Somali and Spanish and use free interpreter services for people with limited English proficiency. Contact Labor Standards at 651-284-5075 or email@example.com for assistance.
Media contact: James Honerman, firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-284-5313.