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Facility Caregivers: Are you paid at least $418 a day when working a 24-hour shift?

18 May 2019 No CommentEmail This Post Email This Post

Caregivers working in Residential Care Facilities
provide an important service to elderly and disabled individuals, as well as
their families. These caregivers often work up to 24 hours per day, providing necessary
care and supervision to ensure the health and safety of each facility resident.  However, many facility caregivers are grossly
underpaid for the services they provide. 

Fortunately, California law protects caregivers who work
in licensed Residential Care Facilities from wage theft. Specifically, all
facility caregivers are entitled to receive at least minimum wage for every
hour they work, including all hours they are required to be present at the
facility.  The current minimum wage rate
in California is $11.00 per hour for employers with 25 employees or less, and $12.00
per hour for employers with 26 or more employees.  Additionally, with some exceptions, facility caregivers
are also entitled to receive overtime compensation for all hours worked in
excess of 8 per day or 40 per week, and double time compensation for all hours
worked in excess of 12 per day. 

In light of these requirements, facility caregivers,
who work 24-hour shifts, must be paid at least $418 per day to comply with
California’s minimum wage laws.  That
includes 8 hours of pay at the minimum wage rate of $11.00/hour ($88), four
hours of pay at the overtime rate of $16.50/hour ($66), and 12 hours of pay at
the double time rate of $22/hour ($264). 

In lieu of paying overtime and double time wages, many
employers pay facility caregivers a fixed salary, regardless of the actual
number of hours they work each day. However, paying an employee a fixed salary,
predetermined in advance, does not disqualify that employee from receiving
minimum wage or overtime compensation. In fact, the salary paid is sometimes far
less than the legally required minimum wage. More importantly, payment of a
fixed salary to a non-exempt employee only compensates that employee for their
regular, non-overtime hours worked. This means that a non-exempt facility
caregiver, who receives a set rate of pay or fixed salary for the work they
perform, has not been compensated for any hours he or she worked in excess of 8
per day or 40 per week. Furthermore, those uncompensated hours are considered
overtime hours, compensable at the legal overtime rate of one-and-one half the
facility caregiver’s regular rate of pay.

If you are a facility caregiver receiving a fixed salary
for working 24-hour shifts, you may have a substantial unpaid overtime
claim.  For purposes of illustration,
below is an example of how wage and hour claims are calculated for facility
caregivers under California law:

Tony is a facility caregiver.  He works 24-hours per day and is not allowed
to leave the care facility at any time during his scheduled shifts.  Tony’s employer also requires him to sleep in
the facility at night and the residents frequently wake him asking for
assistance.  Tony receives a daily salary
of $100 each day he works. This makes Tony’s regular rate of pay $12.50 per
hour ($100/8 hours per day).  Subject to
that calculation, Tony’s overtime rate is $18.75 per hour and his double-time
rate is $25 per hour, respectively. 
Because Tony’s daily salary of $100 does not compensate him for any
overtime hours worked, Tony’s employer owes him $375.00 per day in unpaid wages:
4 overtime hours x $18.75 (Tony’s overtime rate), plus 12 double time hours x
$25.00 (Tony’s double time rate).  If
Tony works 5 days per week, he is owed $1,875 per week, which equals $97,500 each
year he works. If Tony brings a claim against his employer for these unpaid
wages, he can seek unpaid wages going back four years, along with interest,
attorney’s fees and costs, liquidated damages and penalties.

Caregivers
work hard to provide support and assistance to our loved ones, and they must be
paid in accordance with California law for their invaluable services.  If you are a caregiver working in licensed Residential
Care Facility and are not being paid according to California law, we would like
to help.   Please contact our firm at
(818)807-4168 for a free and confidential consultation. We love helping
caregivers get the overtime compensation that they deserve. This article is an attorney advertisement
written by Lauren J. Peterson, employment law attorney at Chaleff Rehwald in
Woodland Hills. Our examples are of a general nature and are
not a guarantee regarding the outcome of your individual matter. The law firm
focuses on caregiver rights.  Please call
us at (818) 807-4168 for a free and confidential consultation.  Or visit us at
www.cr.legal to learn more about caregiver overtime
law.  We offer a 24-hour chat line on our
website.

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