Philadelphia Employment Law News

Apria Healthcare Sued for Unpaid Wages; FLSA

It always seems like employers are trying to get a little more productivity out of employees. Sometimes this desire presses up against the boundaries of labor laws by asking employees to stay a little longer than their shift, but only paying for the 40 hours that they were scheduled to work.

Apria Healthcare was recently accused of doing this to its employees and violating the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"). An employee, Connie Titchenell, claimed that Apria would require her to work past her 10-15 extra hours a week without pay in order to meet her supervisors' productivity demands, according to The Pennsylvania Record. Now, the court hearing the case has allowed the suit to become a class action based on other employees having the same claims as Titchenell.

Will this case be successful?

The payment of overtime hours and minimum wage is governed by the FLSA, which covers employers that collect more than $500,000 in revenue in a year, are hospitals or schools, are part of a public agency, or that conduct business across state lines.

The FLSA requires that all covered employees be paid minimum wage for the time that they are working. It also requires that any work over 8 hours in a day and over 40 hours in a week be paid at time and a half for nonexempt employees. Exempt employees are those that manage others or are a professional (like a doctor or lawyer).

Here, it seems pretty clear that the FLSA was violated by Apria and that Titchenell's case will be successful. It is likely covered by the law because it surely brings in more than $500,000 a year selling home medical devices, and if not, still sells the equipment across state lines.

Further, it is illegal on all counts to have someone work for free. As long as Titchenell's claims are accurate, she will be at the least to recover lost wages if she is found to be an exempt employee and be able to recover overtime pay if she was nonexempt.

Remember, no matter how lucky you feel to have your job, you do need to get paid for it.

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