Overtime Pay for Employees Working in Retirement Communities
Too frequently we see Texas employers failing to pay caregivers, med techs, and other employees working in retirement communities overtime and the wages they are owed as mandated by federal wage laws (i.e. the Fair Labor Standards Act).
The work of a caregiver is extremely important to the individuals who live in the community, as well to their families who are given peace of mind knowing their loved ones are being cared for adequately. Caregivers should be adequately and fairly compensated. When a nursing home fails to pay its employees in accordance with Federal Law, the wage and overtime lawyers at Herrmann Law will take a stand.
What am I required to be paid?
The federal minimum wage and overtime law covers all nursing care enterprises, whether the enterprise is operated for a profit or not. The federal minimum wage and overtime laws requests that all employees receive at least the minimum wage (which, in Texas is $7.25 an hour) for every hour worked in a week. In addition, nursing facilities or retirement communities must also pay all non-exempt employees a rate of time-and-one-half their regular rate of pay for all overtime hours.
Am I entitled to overtime pay?
Again, yes! As a care giver or med tech working in a retirement home, you are entitled to one and a half times your regular rate of pay for all hours worked over forty (40) in a single workweek. What is important is that overtime is calculated on a seven-day rolling period and is not based upon the pay period. Therefore, if you work sixty (60) hours in week 1 and twenty (20) hours in week 2, you are entitled to twenty (20) hours of overtime for week 1.
For example, if you are paid $10.00 per hour, you are entitled to be paid overtime at a rate of $15.00 per hour for all hours worked over forty (40) in a single week. You are still entitled to be paid overtime even if your employer pays you a day rate, salary, or other non-hourly rate of pay.
What if I work for multiple locations?
If you work for multiple locations or receive multiple paychecks for a pay period, it is possible your employers could be classified as “Joint Employers”. Joint employment exists where two (or more) employers benefit from an employee’s work and the employers are sufficiently related to or associated with each other.
- The employers have an arrangement to share an employee’s services;
- One employer acts in the interest of the other in relation to the employee; or
- The employers share control of the employee, directly or indirectly, because one employer controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with the other employer.
Joint employment is quite detailed, but it’s important for care givers in retirement homes to be aware of, because if you work for multiple locations or receive paychecks from multiple entities, you may not be receiving the pay you’re owed under the law.
Therefore, in short, if your employers are joint employers, they must combine all of the hours you worked in a workweek to determine if you worked more than 40 hours and is due overtime pay. In other words, your employer cannot try to skirt the overtime laws by paying you from two different entities or from separate paychecks.
What if I am paid a day rate, salary, or flat rate of pay?
As stated above, if you are paid a day rate, salary, or other form of compensation your employer is still required by law to pay overtime for all hours worked over 40 in a work week.
Therefore, if you are a caregiver or med tech and you are paid a day rate, you are only being compensated for up to 40 hours in a workweek, and are due an additional hourly overtime rate for every hour worked over 40 hours in a workweek.
*There are exemptions to the overtime laws, and therefore it is possible that some employees at retirement homes will not be entitled to minimum wage or overtime pay.
If you have questions about your wages or overtime pay, you should call an experienced wage and overtime attorney to discuss your questions.