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Federal work determined that a care company in Puerto Rico for terminally ill patients violated regulations

Washington D.C. – The United States Department of Labor determined that a company dedicated to the care of terminally ill patients in Puerto Rico violated fair labor standards and paid $54,673 less to 62 employees.

The investigation by the federal Department of Labor concluded that the Hogar Fe centers in Manatí and Esperanza in Puerto Rico, in Mayagüez -which belong to the same owner and work under the name Hospicio la Fe-, violated the law.

Officials from the federal Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division conducted the investigation.

The investigation revealed that both hospices misclassified employees as volunteers and were paid $3.75 or $5.00 per hour for expenses, such as fuel, instead of the federal minimum wage of $7.25. Nor were they paid for overtime in addition to the 40-hour work week.

“With the pandemic, it has been shown that the services provided by health personnel are essential for our families, our communities and the economy. Workers put themselves at risk when they provide these services.”explained the district director of the Division of Hours and Wages, José R. Vázquez Fernández.

“With a rapidly aging American population and a growing demand for healthcare personnel, employers who mistreat workers or deny them rights and benefits under the law will not have enough workers to meet the demand.” added Vazquez Fernandez.

The Wage and Hour Division of the US Department of Labor recovered nearly $14 million for more than 17,000 health care workers, according to its reports.

According to the federal Department of Labor, Hospice La Fe offers services at home to patients with terminal illnesses. They are certified by the Medicare program.

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