Caregivers paid under minimum wage by Florida ALF owner who owed $103,000 in back pay

Fresno Bee Staff Photo

Some of the people caring for residents in five Broward assisted living facilities were being paid less than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, the Department of Labor announced this week.

Paradise Villa Retirement Home paid $103,389 in back pay to 20 employees, $5,169.45 per worker, after an investigation by Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.

Wage and Hour’s District Director Tony Pham said in a statement, “The result of this investigation is an opportunity for other employers to review their pay practices to ensure they comply with the law.”

The investigation found, the department said, that Paradise Villa “inaccurately classified caregivers as independent contractors rather than employees and paid them flat rates per day without regard to the number of hours they actually worked.”

When those hours worked piled high enough, what they were paid per hour slid under the federal minimum wage.

And, “Overtime violations resulted when employees worked more than 40 hours in a workweek but were paid only their flat rates with no overtime,” the Labor Department said.

But, that often happens when “the employer failed to maintain records of the number of hours employees worked,” which is a record-keeping violation.

The Coral Springs company registered and run by president Robin Stewart owns Paradise Villa at Sheridan, Paradise Villa at Pembroke Pines, Paradise Villa at Coral Springs, Paradise Villa at Cooper City and Paradise Villa at Coconut Creek.

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Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.