A Michigan woman who owns three nursing centers on the state’s east side is under investigation for denying proper wages for 45 managers, investigators say.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced that Amee Patel owed 45 managers a total of $69,022 in back wages and damages. These managers work at Beaconshire Nursing Center, Westwood Nursing Center and Chesaning Nursing Center.
According to officials, Patel would pay these managers an hourly wage when they worked less than full-time (40 hours) a week and a salaried wage after working overtime (over 40 hours) a week. The nursing home owner giving these managers an alternating status from hourly to salary regularly allowed Patel to exempt overtime.
Officials acknowledged that this isn’t Patel’s first offense. In 2018, investigators found the nursing home owner was violating overtime regulations when she didn’t pay drivers for their travel and wait times and in 2015, she failed to pay employees for attending mandatory training shifts.
The DOL recovered over $17,000 in back wages for a dozen Beaconshire Nursing Center employees, over $3,000 in back wages for a dozen Chesaning Nursing Center. and a little over $14,000 in back wages for almost two dozen Westwood Nursing Center employees. Patal also has paid an equal amount in liquidated damages, resulting in over $69,000.
“Business operators cannot casually decide to pay workers as salaried in some weeks and hourly in others. By doing so, Amee Patel clearly violated federal laws by denying workers at her healthcare facilities all their hard-earned pay,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Timolin Mitchell in Detroit. “Overtime violations are all-too-common in the healthcare industry. Today’s workers are looking for employers who value them, pay their full wages and guarantee their workplace rights. Employers who comply with labor laws and appreciate the dignity of work will have the greatest appeal to new workers or those looking for new opportunities.”
Patal has paid $7,938 in civil money penalties for the repeated violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.