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Act Now to Review and Correct Irregularities in Pay Practices and Personnel Policies

By Roger P. Gilson Jr.
  • January 30, 2001

Nursing care facilities, home health care agencies, and other long term care providers should recognize that the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Administration has undertaken a program of focused enforcement efforts and will likely step up investigative activities based on the Year 2000 Survey findings. This is true particularly in light of the conclusion that compliance has slipped from 70% to 40% between 1997 and 2000. Such conclusion may be subject to criticism on a number of counts - smallness of sample relative to the number of facilities nationwide, concentration within the sample of facilities found to have been in violation in 1997, variation in audit parameters - but more aggressive enforcement efforts based on this conclusion are likely.

Given this initiative, it is critical that long term care providers be prepared for an audit of employee records and personnel practices by investigators from the Department of Labor.

Taking the offense includes conducting an internal audit of wage and hour law compliance before an investigator knocks at the facility door. Vulnerabilities revealed during the internal audit should be addressed and remedied. Policies and procedures should be reviewed for compliance with current law and regulations. Those areas identified in the surveys as "hot spots" should be closely examined, and any irregularities should be corrected.

Jackson Lewis attorneys are available to assist health care employers conduct an internal compliance audit and to modify practices and policies that create vulnerabilities.

Additionally, the firm is experienced in counseling health care facilities selected for an investigation or audit by the Department of Labor and in representing them should the agency make a finding of noncompliance.

Additional information about the provisions of the FLSA and the Wage and Hour Division's health care initiative may be found at the DOL Health Care Initiatives website.

©2001 Jackson Lewis P.C. This material is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice nor does it create a client-lawyer relationship between Jackson Lewis and any recipient. Recipients should consult with counsel before taking any actions based on the information contained within this material. This material may be considered attorney advertising in some jurisdictions. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Reproduction of this material in whole or in part is prohibited without the express prior written consent of Jackson Lewis P.C., a law firm that built its reputation on providing workplace law representation to management. Founded in 1958, the firm has grown to more than 900 attorneys in major cities nationwide serving clients across a wide range of practices and industries including government relations, healthcare and sports law. More information about Jackson Lewis can be found at www.jacksonlewis.com.

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