Home Health Aides may be due Back Pay
Home health aides who work 24-hour shifts may be due unpaid overtime wages and other damages.
Home Health Aides Are Due Minimum & Overtime Wages
Home Health Aides employed by an agency to work in private homes perform essential work for our sick and elderly. And the job is really tough. Unfortunately, Home Health Aides are some of the lowest paid workers in the country. Some of them don’t even get the overtime and minimum wages that they are entitled to under the law, specifically the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act and the New York Labor Law.
For example, some agencies hire home health aides to work multiple 24-hour shifts in a workweek. However, the agencies often pay home health aides for only 13 hours of each 24-hour shift. Agencies deduct 11 hours of pay from the 24-hour shift for supposed sleep and meal breaks. An agency, however, cannot do this unless there is a clear agreement that an agency can exclude that time from the pay. Even if there is an agreement to exclude the meal and sleep periods from the pay, agencies still need to pay Home Health Aides for work that is performed during meal and sleep periods.
Work During Meal & Sleep Periods
It is common for Home Health Aides to work during their meal and sleep periods. Home Health Aides often help clients go to the bathroom, change soiled sheets during the night, attend to clients during meal periods, turn bed-ridden clients every few hours, or keep a constant eye on their clients to ensure that the clients are safe. This is especially for those Home Health Aides who work with patients suffering from dementia or other mental impairments. Because they are constantly on duty, Home Health Aides regularly don’t receive meal breaks or sleep periods free from work.
Potential Damages for Unpaid Wages
Home health aides who work during their meal and sleep periods, and aren’t paid for the time may be owed the unpaid wages plus additional damages. These damages include:
- Overtime pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.
- 11 hours of pay for working during meal and sleep periods.
- Double pay, called liquidated damages, in an amount equal to the unpaid wages.
- If the home health aide is paid the minimum wage, an additional hour of pay at the minimum wage if they work over 10 hours in a shift.
- Up to $5,000, for inaccurate wage statements under New York Law.
- Prejudgment interest at the rate of 9% for the unpaid wages under the New York law.
We believe that Home Health Aides should be paid for all of the work they perform. We have and are currently litigating cases on behalf of home health aides. For example, in our case against Avondale Care Group, we represent home health aides who work 24-hour shifts and weren’t paid for all of the hours they worked during their meal and sleep periods.
Your Calls Are Confidential
If you worked as a home health aide, and worked 24-hour shifts, call us to find out if you have a claim for unpaid wages plus additional damages. All calls are free and confidential. We only represent employees and never employers.