Home healthcare agency must pay back wages, damages, federal court decides

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LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — An Lackawanna County home healthcare agency will have to pay over $100,000 in back wages and penalties, a federal court has decided.

The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in Scranton says Revolutionary Home Health Inc. must pay $66,000 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages to 98 registered nurses and licensed practical nurses. They must also pay $8,000 in civil penalties.

The judgement stems from the court finding that the business did not pay nurses an hourly wage, instead compensating them on a “per-unit” basis and set a dollar amount per patient. Nurses were paid different amounts based on types of visits, regardless of how many hours these employees worked, according to a news release sent by the U.S. Department of Labor.

“Failing to pay employees all the wages they have rightfully earned not only harms the workers and their families, it also puts law-abiding employers at a competitive disadvantage,” said Wage and Hour District Director Alfonso Gristina in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. “We encourage other employers in the home healthcare industry to evaluate their own pay practices to ensure they comply with the law, and avoid violations like these.”

In total, 98 nurses were affected. The court says the payment covers ancillary work and work-related travel which the company did not pay, in violation of federal law.

Revolutionary Home Health Inc. must also maintain accurate time records since the court found they failed to record the number of hours employees worked.

“This judgment sends a clear message to employers that failure to pay employees their rightfully earned wages comes at a high cost,” said Regional Solicitor Oscar L. Hampton III in Philadelphia.

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