LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Centennial Hills Hospital Medical Center was fined more than $19,000 for violations of fair labor practices after employees were required to complete necessary paperwork after clocking out, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
The hospital paid $145,402 in back wages to 23 employees following an investigation.
The Labor Department found that the hospital also “wilfully” manipulated employee timecards to avoid paying overtime.
The hospital’s actions constituted violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, officials said. A Department of Labor news release did not specify when the violations occurred.
Centennial Hills Hospital is a subsidiary of Universal Health Services Inc., which is based in Pennsylvania. The company manages 400 acute care hospitals, behavioral health facilities and ambulatory care center.
“Workers must be paid all of their hard-earned wages,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Higinio Ramos in Las Vegas.
“Centennial Hills Hospital Medical Center shortchanged their workers and made it more difficult for them to provide for themselves and their families,” Ramos said. “The employer also gained an unfair competitive advantage over law-abiding employers. Other employers should use the outcome of this investigation as an opportunity to evaluate their own pay practices to ensure they comply with the law.”
Statement from Centennial Hills Hospital, the Valley Health System:
“When we became aware of these allegations, we conducted an investigation and determined these infractions were limited to a single department relating to one manager who did not comply with established hospital policies and procedures governing proper timekeeping protocols. We addressed the situation; disciplinary action was taken and additional training was provided. We mutually agreed with the Department of Labor on amounts to be paid. The issues which formed the basis of this matter occurred almost a year ago. We are unaware of any ongoing or continuing issues.
We deny any willful manipulation of timecards and were never notified by the Department of Labor of any such finding. We are committed to complying with wage and hour laws and properly compensating our employees for time worked. Our employees are our most valued asset and the key component to delivering the highest quality care and treatment to our patients.”