The U.S, Department of Labor is hosting a special webinar aimed at post-acute caregivers and their employers Thursday. It will focus on federal wage and hour regulations for skilled nursing, home care and residential care employers, workers and other stakeholders, with a special focus on the Southeast.

“Caring For Those Who Care: Fair Labor Standards Act Requirements in the Care Industry,” will take place as part of what DOL calls an ongoing education and enforcement initiative to improve compliance in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

The 90-minute event starts at 11 a.m. EST. There is no cost to attend but registration is necessary.

The DOL webinar will review federal protections for care workers, so that employers, advocates and workers understand their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

“The U.S. Department of Labor is determined to ensure these workers are not denied any of their hard-earned wages,” said Wage and Hour Division Regional Administrator Juan Coria in Atlanta. “Our current initiative combines compliance assistance and enforcement to decrease violations by employers in the care industries.”

Coria said Thursday’s webinar was sparked by an “alarming volume of violations” that indicate “we must do more to protect the rights of some of the lowest paid workers in the Southeast.

“Far too often, the Wage and Hour Division finds workers victimized by wage thefts, sometimes by unscrupulous employers and others who misunderstand the law,” he added. “The consequences of violating the law can be very costly.” 

From 2020 to 2022, division investigators in the Southeast identified violations in nearly 89% of more than 1,200 nursing care and home care investigations they completed. These reviews led the agency to recover more than $16.2 million in back wages and liquidated damages for more than 13,000 workers. In addition, the division assessed employers a total of $156,404 in civil money penalties.