Visit by labor department

  1. We nurses were interviewed by a labor department official in the NH I work at. The nursing home does not pay its nurses overtime even if they are required to stayover after their shift (sometimes waiting for the another nurse to come, or finishing up the work, counting the narcotics, giving the report) but they deduct the money from salary if a nurse is a minute late. Many times, another nurse is cought in traffic and comes half an hour late you are waiting for her, you are not paid for staying overtime, the nurse is not paid because she is late......... the facility saves some money by not paying anybody for that period.
    The officer had all records with him, he asked me- you punched in 6:56 and you punched out 3:37 but why is it only 8 hours? We don't fool around and puch out late..we are always trying to finish up...and sometimes wait for someone to come....even if we finish the work early. There is hardly an occasion that I left floor early.
    He asked if we take the designated brakes and do we ever leave the floor for brake. I don't recall a single day in my 10 months of employment with this NH that I left the floor for brake. I hardly have 10 minutes to go to the dinning room(designated only for patients, nurses don't have any brake room so far) and put someting in mouth. Even there I am interrupted 5 times.
    I heard that the Labor department had not entered the building ever since the NH was established......It doesn't seem like a regular visit...what does that mean? Did anybody hear of Labor department visit in their facility? Is the facility in trouble? I hope not. I will find a job anywhere else but it is a matter of 280 people to whom it is a home.
    Last edit by starbin on Mar 1, '07 : Reason: spelling
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    About starbin

    Joined: May '05; Posts: 423; Likes: 72
    RN; from US
    Specialty: Nephro, ICU, LTC and counting


  3. by   aviator411
    It is QUITE UNUSUAL to receive a visit from the department of labor. I've never seen it done during my entire career, much of which has been spent in hospitals and clinics. You can bet they are investigating employee complaints such as those you mentioned. I doubt your job is in jeopardy but it sounds like your employer is likely to owe many of you some overtime pay. Good luck with it. Hope you report the outcome which may not come anytime soon.
  4. by   RunningWithScissors
    Sounds like somebody reported them to the labor board. What they are doing is against the law, and you are entitled to back pay for all the time you worked and were not paid, if it can be proved.

    Don't worry about the residents losing their home, the facility will just pay a fine and back pay, and wll no longer be able to get away with what they've been doing.
  5. by   TazziRN
    Don't worry about your job. If the residents are well taken care of then the home won't be closed but admin will be given a time frame to fix the problems. Admin can't do anything to the staff because it would be considered retaliation. I've never seen it in my job but my husband works for a grocery chain; he's seen the union come in to investigate complaints from employees.....once it was a legit complaint and the problem was fixed. The others were just complaints from disgruntled employees and nothing happened.
  6. by   morte
    yup, someone dropped a dime, hmm i think it is now 35 cents,lol
  7. by   RN BSN 2009
    Quote from morte
    yup, someone dropped a dime, hmm i think it is now 35 cents,lol
    lol trying to make a dollar outta 15 cents
  8. by   Jolie
    Your nursing home administration has been violating the law and taking advantage of employees who are either not knowledgable about labor laws in the US, or are fearful of losing their jobs if they speak up. Such treatment of employees is dispicable. I have no doubt that administration will try to intimidate employees to prevent them from cooperating with this investigation. Sadly, this is one of the tactics used by unscrupulous employers to retain foreign-born nurses they have sponsored. While it would be wildly inaccurate to say that hospitals never mis-treat their nurses, it doesn't usually happen to this extent because hospitals are more "visible" and have more immediate oversight from the public and government agencies. I believe this is one of many reasons why Suzanne cautions foreign-born nurses about signing contracts with nursing homes.
  9. by   Freedom42
    This is exactly what happened when a worker filed a complaint with the Department of Labor against a (non-health-care) company that I worked for years ago. The company never required (nor allowed) workers to document actual hours worked and routinely denied people comp time. Wrongo.

    Once the DOL came in and interviewed everyone in our department, a payroll system was instituted, we no longer worked more than 37.5 hours a week unless we were paid overtime and -- best of all -- the company was forced to give every member of the department around $2,000 in back pay, the maximum allowed by law at that time. Thanks, DOL!
  10. by   TracyB,RN
    Dang! I'm jealous. The place I used to work for that owes me over 5 grand in OT pay closed before the DOL could come in. They are still working on the case & have been searching for the owner. FYI, this wasn't a LTC facility, but an independently owned adult day care.

    I'm sure your job is fine, but looks like you'll be paying some taxes on OT pay that you have coming.
  11. by   Freedom42
    Actually, I think our overtime checks came with the taxes already withheld. Let's hope it's the same for the OP -- it was a tidy windfall!
  12. by   nursemary9
    Oh Yes,I do believe your Nursing Home is in trouble.

    Our Hospital behaved in much the same way back in the 70's.

    Yes!! I have been around for a long while.
    One day, a very long time ago, I got a LARGE check from the hospital. Didn't know what it was about. The attached letter explained that the Hospital had agreed to pay each employee an agreed on sum. They payed each employee this large sum of money as a settlement with the labor dept. They agreed on no retaliation & they did not have to pay any other penalty since it was believed that it was a MISTAKE. However, They were warned that if it happened again--not only would they have more checks to write to us--they would be hit with a HUGE penalty.

    Believe me, we were instructed to put down EVERY minute of overtime after that.

    It's a good thing that the Labor Dept is involved. They are looking after you guys.
  13. by   Batman24
    Someone reported them and they should be applauded. Your NH is breaking the law and all of your paychecks will support that. You could be in for well deserved back pay.

    Keep us posted. I love to see justice prevail.
  14. by   starbin
    Quote from Batman24
    Someone reported them and they should be applauded. Your NH is breaking the law and all of your paychecks will support that. You could be in for well deserved back pay.

    Keep us posted. I love to see justice prevail.
    Found out the reason for DOL visit. There are nurses in that NH who work double shift every day in the same floor but get two pay checks from two different employer's name. rather than giving the nurses overtime pay(time and a half), the NH is giving them 2 pay checks from two different employers...same floor same assignment and also collects the paycheck from the same place. Isn't that something interesting. The NH made the deal with those nurses at the time of hire, they will be given double shifts but will not be paid overtime. They have been doing this for last 3 years and those nurses never said a word against it... Now, someone opened the mouth.