Doctor's hands giving dollar banknotes, close-up.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota in Minneapolis recently ordered a Minneapolis private home care provider to pay $1.6 million in back wages and damages in connection with unpaid overtime wages for 136 healthcare workers in the Twin-Cities area.

The U.S. Department of Labor obtained the consent judgment in federal court after its Wage and Hour Division examined the home care provider’s payroll records from July 2018 through September 2020. The investigation found the company, operating as Baywood Home Care, failed to pay the affected workers’ overtime wages for hours over 40 in a work week and did not maintain accurate pay records.

“Home healthcare workers provide essential caregiving work and ensuring the dignity of people unable to care for themselves,” Principal Deputy Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division Jessica Looman explained in a statement. “The long-awaited recovery of these wages will have a tremendous impact on 136 workers and their families.”

The Department of Labor has been particularly forceful against home care and other long-term care providers in recent months. Since it began targeting the care industry last year, it has conducted more than 1,600 investigations and found violations in 80% of its reviews. The most common transgressions were violations to the Fair Labor Standards Act.