Dept of Labor to Educate Care Industry on Wage Laws

As part of U.S. Department of Labor efforts to build better jobs and increase pay equity, the department’s Wage and Hour Division regional office in Chicago will host a webinar, “Midwest Care Workers Summit 2022,” on March 23, 2022.

The virtual summit brings together industry stakeholders from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin for an in-depth discussion about issues affecting federal labor law compliance within the health care industry in the Midwest.

“We want to hear directly from stakeholders in the healthcare industry about what the Wage and Hour Division can do to enhance their understanding of federal wages laws, provide resources and ensure essential healthcare workers are receiving the wages they are due,” said Wage and Hour Regional Administrator Michael Lazzeri in Chicago. “The healthcare industry has faced relentless challenges throughout the pandemic, and the Wage and Hour Division is committed to taking better take care of those who take care of us.”

Investigations by the Wage and Hour Division recovered more than $22.7 million for Midwest healthcare workers from 2019 to 2021 as a result of violations of worker protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

“The U.S. Department of Labor has had its sights focused on home care for many years,” said NAHC President William A. Dombi. “One reason is that there continues to be employee complaints and audit findings demonstrating employer noncompliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act. That noncompliance can be very costly for home care companies. We strongly recommend that home care companies stay on top of all the federal and state wage and hour law requirements and consider internal self-audits as a tool to avoid liabilities.”

Building on the Essential Workers – Essential Protections Initiative, the Wage and Hour Division embarked on a series of steps to increase communication between health care employers and the federal agency. They conducted more than 70 listening sessions with over 500 stakeholders across 50 cities nationwide.

“The U.S. Department of Labor’s recently announced ‘Good Jobs Initiative’ focuses on connecting the dots between the needs of employers and workers. The disruption caused by the pandemic provides a unique opportunity to ensure full and fair employment opportunities and proper wages as the country goes back to work. We can improve conditions for women who dominate the healthcare industry, and the nation’s economic recovery can propel us toward greater equity,” Lazzeri added.