A Detroit-area long-term care provider that offered bonuses for perfect attendance and working COVID wards recently found itself in hot water over an accounting technicality.

The company paid more than $120,000 in overtime back pay as a result of a Department of Labor investigation, the agency announced Monday.

A technical error in rate-of-pay calculations by Advantage Living Centers led to 640 employees receiving $121,525. The company sold the 11 locations covered by the probe to The Orchards Michigan in 2021, a DOL spokesman told McKnight’s Long-Term Care News. 

The investigation stretched from March 2020 to March 2022 for four locations and March 2020 to October 2021 for seven locations, the DOL spokesman told McKnight’s. 

Neither the facilities’ previous nor current owner could be reached for comment Monday.

The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division found that Advantage Consulting and Education Services — operating as Advantage Living Centers ­— paid non-discretionary bonuses to employees at its 11 locations for perfect attendance, working in the COVID isolation unit, and for mentoring and training new employees. 

DOL said in the press release the error was the company’s failure to include the bonuses into an employee’s rate of pay when calculating overtime rates. The previous owner was responsible for the back pay, the DOL spokesman confirmed to McKnight’s.

“Overtime rates must be calculated on an employee’s average hourly rate of pay, including any non-discretionary bonuses paid,” Acting Wage and Hour District Director Angela Telang said in the release. “The Wage and Hour Division offers assistance to employers and workers to help calculate overtime pay rates accurately.”

Employment in a variety of healthcare sectors is expected to rise 16 percent from 2020 to 2030, adding about 2.6 million new jobs, according to the DOL release.

“As healthcare industry employers struggle to retain and recruit workers to provide the services necessary for their businesses to succeed, failing to pay workers their full wages means that these essential workers may look elsewhere for employment,” Telang said.