Recent News Article About California

Home-Care Industry

According to federal and state officials, the home-care industry in southern California has extensive wage theft, which could be largely because they employ immigrants, mainly Filipino and Latino.

The largest wage theft case on record was documented last year, in 2017, in a chain of six assisted living homes called Adat Shalom Board and Care. Located in West Hills in the San Fernando Valley, Adat Shalom was fined by the state commissioner for a record $7 million for their negligence in paying wages from 2014-2017.

The Labor Board found that Adat Shalom paid 149 workers an hourly wage of less than $2.40 an hour. Each of the six care homes had caregivers overseeing five or six patients with Alzheimers and dementia. The caregivers were required to be at work 24 hours a day, so they lived on the property and had to be available on call, but management never paid overtime for the additional hours.

The staffing agencies are partly to blame for the wage abuse because they take advantage of the immigrant workers also. The Labor Board reported that the care facility did not provide rest or meal breaks for the workers, besides not paying ridiculously low wages. This case was classified under wage theft and exploitation, and during this period, the minimum wage in California ranged from $9.00 to $10.50 an hour.

Opposing View

The attorney for Adat Shalom, Patrick White, told reporters that the facility denies violating the California wage and hour law. He said that the audit that was performed by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement was wrong and unjust.

Adat Shalom is planning to appeal the decision and go back to court. Adat Shalom was not the only home care company audited during these four years. In 2015 and 2016, over 50 home-care companies in San Diego and Orange County, serving both the elderly and disabled. The U.S. Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division reported that they all of these companies had violations.