Commonwealth’s Healthcare & Social Assistance Sector Hit with Extra Wage Bill of Over $8 Million

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Research by TSheets has revealed that Pennsylvania’s healthcare and social assistance industry has been hit with an extra wage bill of more than $8 million in recent years following Department of Labor prosecutions. In fact, the state’s healthcare sector has seen more DOL prosecution’s than almost any other, with more than 800 concluded cases on record at a total cost of more than $8.5 million, excluding legal fees. Only Texas, California, and Florida have seen more.

The vast majority of these cases result from employees being underpaid — either through minimum wage violations or, more commonly, unpaid overtime. So far, employers in Pennsylvania’s healthcare and social assistance sector have repaid more than $8.2 million to their employees as a result of the DOL’s actions. The remaining $275,000 was levied in civil money penalties.

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And these cases only reflect action taken by the DOL. They exclude lawsuits and class actions brought by attorneys, which reached record levels nationally in 2015 with almost 9,000 filed across all industries.

TSheets looked at 30 years of DOL data and has mapped the location and cost of every violation the department has recorded since 1985. The majority were found to have taken place in the last 15 years and the total cost to all U.S. businesses has been more than $1.5 billion.

The healthcare and social assistance businesses in Pennsylvania that have seen the highest number of prosecutions are child day care service (211 cases), nursing care facilities (116 cases), residential care facilities (47 cases), ambulance services (47 cases), and physicians’ offices (39). But the hardest hit financially has been mental health practitioners, which have seen an average cost per prosecution of more than $100,000. The average across all of the state’s healthcare and social assistance firms is more than $10,000 to each firm affected.