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21 Mar 2023

Carol Davis, Health Leaders Media (USA)

USA: Dept. of Labor files lawsuit against Advanced Care Staffing over contracts requiring employees to repay wages in case of early termination

See all tags Allegations

"Healthcare staffing agency accused of demanding employees stay 3 years or repay wages,"

The U.S. Department of Labor is seeking to stop a Brooklyn, New York, healthcare staffing provider from allegedly requiring employees to sign ironclad three-year contracts or repay rightfully earned wages.

The labor department filed suit Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York by the department’s Office of the Solicitor against Advanced Care Staffing LLC (ACS) and its CEO, Sam Klein. The complaint alleges that the contracts led some employees to earn less than the federal minimum wage—a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act...

“Federal law forbids employers from clawing back wages earned by employees, for employers’ own benefit,” said Seema Nanda, solicitor of labor. “Employers cannot use workers as insurance policies to unconditionally guarantee future profit streams. Nor can employers use arbitration agreements to shield unlawful practices.”

The department’s complaint seeks an injunction forbidding ACS and Klein from reducing employees’ wages below federal minimums, whether by demanding employees enter into contracts requiring them to cover ACS’ future profits, attorneys’ fees or costs associated with arbitration, or by enforcing such contracts.

In addition, the department is seeking back wages and liquidated damages for affected employees...