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Staffing Agency Required to Pay Over $7.2 Million for Wage Violations

A Virginia federal district court found Medical Staffing of America failed to pay 1000 registered nurses, licensed practice nurses, and certified nursing aides the wages they earned for working overtime. The company provides independent medical personnel to healthcare facilities across the country. The U.S. Solicitor of Labor brought the action against the company after an investigation by the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (“DOL”). In that investigation, the DOL discovered the company misclassified the workers as independent contractors, allowing them to pay the nurses straight wages rather than the time and half they should have received for working over 40 hours in a week. Moreover, the agency failed to accurately record hours worked by the individuals. Both acts reflected violations of the Fair Labor and Standards Act. The company refused to pay the back wages and come into compliance after the investigation, requiring the DOL to file its lawsuit.

The court ordered the company to pay at least $3,619,716 in back wages and at least $3,619,716 in liquidated damages to 1,105 employees. Because the court ordered the Solicitor to recalculate the lost wages up to the present, the amounts owed are expected to increase the amount of the judgment by a significant amount. The Solicitor filed the lawsuit in 2018.

The U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh sent a message to employers: “When employers misclassify employees as independent contractors and fail to pay workers their hard-earned wages, the U.S. Department of Labor will hold them legally accountable.”