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Minnesota recovers back wages from 5 personal care assistance agencies

(The Center Square) – The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry announced Wednesday that it’s recovered more than $79,000 in back wages owed to workers following investigations of personal care assistance agencies.

Through a compliance initiative, the department found that five personal care assistance agencies violated wage and hour laws, and four of them didn’t pay or failed to correctly pay workers COVID-19-related funding, according to a news release. Back wages were owed to 137 workers.

The department’s Labor Standards unit found that the agencies failed to pay employees’ wages for all the hours they worked, at the correct rate of pay, and that some of the agencies didn’t correctly use funds Minnesota legislators allocated in 2020. Legislation allowed for temporary increases in wages, salaries and benefits for direct support workers, such as personal care assistance employees. The department found and informed personal care assistance employers that didn’t notify employees regarding wage rates as required by law.

“Personal care assistants have physically and mentally demanding jobs and provide vital services to their fellow Minnesotans,” DLI Commissioner Nicole Blissenbach said in the release. “They deserve to be paid all the wages they have earned. As part of this initiative, we found employers failed to pay employees for all hours worked and overtime for hours worked beyond 40 hours in a week. We are glad to get these workers the wages they are owed.”

According to the department, investigators made the following discoveries, with subsequent recoveries:

  • AbbeyCare Choice, Inc. made illegal deductions from employees’ wages for hours they worked. DLI recovered $2,003 in back-wages for four employees.
  • Activeagingalliancecorporation.com, doing business as A-1 Reliable Home Care Inc., failed to pay the wages of some of its employees, including overtime wages, and failed to pay the COVID-19 temporary pay increase. DLI recovered $48,605.89 in back-wages for 42 employees.
  • Bella Mente Inc. violated overtime and other pay requirements and did not correctly pay employees the COVID-19 temporary pay increase. DLI recovered $13,935.22 in back-wages owed to 53 employees.
  • Comfort at Home LLC did not properly pay the temporary COVID-19 pay increase to workers, overtime compensation and wages for all hours employees worked. DLI recovered $5,655.37 in back-wages owed to 10 workers.
  • Trust Home Care LLC violated overtime and other pay requirements and did not correctly pay employees the COVID-19 temporary pay increase. DLI recovered $9,224.95 in back-wages owed to 28 employees.
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