Department of Labor Initiative Finds Violations in 80% of Care-industry Investigations

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Labor announced that an ongoing nationwide effort by its Wage and Hour Division focused on improving compliance by residential-care facilities, nursing facilities, home-health services, and other care-focused industry employers has made significant progress in protecting workers’ rights and protections.

Since its 2021 launch, the initiative has completed more than 1,600 investigations and identified violations in 80% of its reviews. These investigations recovered more than $28.6 million in back wages and damages for nearly 25,000 workers, and led to assessments of nearly $1.3 million in civil monetary penalties for employers who willfully violated federal law.

Its reviews of residential-care facilities, nursing facilities, and home-health providers found the most common violations discovered by investigators related to failures to pay overtime or federal minimum wages or the misclassification of employees as independent contractors. The initiative found violations often hurt women of color, particularly in the Black, African-American, Hispanic, and Asian (including Filipina) communities, who are often employed as home-care aides, certified nursing aides, and licensed practical nurses.

“In the U.S., women make up nearly 80% of the people employed in healthcare and social assistance, and most are women of color, notably Black women. These dedicated professionals work long hours to provide compassionate care to people in need,” Wage and Hour Division Principal Deputy Administrator Jessica Looman said. “Yet too many find themselves working for employers who deprive them of their full wages and benefits they’ve earned for their hard work. We are determined to make sure these workers’ rights are respected and protected.”