PCA agencies violate labor laws after failing to pay COVID-19 funding wages
(FOX 9) - Five personal care assistant agencies violated Minnesota’s labor laws after failing to pay back wages for COVID-19 related funding, according to the state.
The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) announced Wednesday that the agencies – AbbeyCare Choice, Inc., A-1 Reliable Home Care Inc., Bella Mente Inc., Comfort at Home LLC and Trust Home Care LLC – owed a total of $79,000 in back-wages to 137 workers.
"Personal care assistants have physically and mentally demanding jobs and provide vital services to their fellow Minnesotans. They deserve to be paid all the wages they have earned," said DLI Commissioner Nicole Blissenbach in a statement. "We are glad to get these workers the wages they are owed."
In its investigation, DLI's Labor Standards unit determined the agencies failed to pay employees' wages for hours worked at the correct rate of pay, while incorrectly using funds allocated by the Minnesota Legislature in 2020 to increase wages, salaries and benefits for direct support workers.
According to the DLI, investigators found the following violations:
- AbbeyCare Choice, Inc. made illegal deductions from employees' wages for hours they worked, totaling $2,003 in back-wages to four employees;
- Activeagingalliancecorporation.com, doing business as A-1 Reliable Home Care Inc., failed to pay the wages of its employees, including overtime wages, and failed to pay the COVID-19 temporary pay increase, totaling $48,605.89 in back-wages to 42 employees;
- Bella Mente Inc. violated overtime and other pay requirements and did not correctly pay employees the COVID-19 temporary pay increase, totaling $13,935.22 in back-wages 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, totaling $5,655.37 in back-wages 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, totaling $9,224.95 in back wages to 28 employees.