Labor Department investigates 25 nursing homes for withholding wages

The Labor Department is investigating 25 Massachusetts skilled nursing facilities in 21 communities for allegedly withholding overtime wages from at least 624 employees and failing to maintain accurate employment records.

The department alleges that New Step Healthcare automatically deducted 30 minutes from employees' hours worked for meal breaks and permitted employees to work through those breaks. It also alleges employees were not paid according to the regular rate of pay for all hours worked and were not paid overtime for work over 40 hours each week, a Jan. 9 department news release said.

The department seeks to recover unpaid wages from Sept. 27, 2018, to at least Sept. 14, 2021. 

The investigation concerns 25 facilities owned or managed by Next Step Healthcare in Agawam, Attleboro, Braintree, Chestnut Hill, Dedham, Fall River, Fitchburg, Gloucester, Lee, Malden, Melrose, Middleboro, Norwood, Plymouth, South Dennis, Taunton, Walpole, Wareham, Westborough, West Newton and Worcester.

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