Feds take home-care company to court over unpaid employee wages

By: - September 17, 2022 8:00 am

An Iowa home health care provider, accused of failing to pay overtime wages, has agreed to a settlement with federal labor officials. (Photo by Jetta Productions Inc./Getty Images)

One of western Iowa’s in-home health care providers, accused of failing to pay its workers overtime wages, has agreed to a settlement with federal labor officials.

The U.S. Department of Labor has taken Embrace Iowa to court so that the settlement has the effect of an enforceable court order. The deal calls for the company to pay a total of $3,888 to four employees.

Embrace Iowa provides elderly and disabled clients with respite care, personal care services and other forms of health care and nonmedical home assistance. The company is based in Glenwood and is run by Julie Kalambokidis.

According to the DOL, Kalambokidis sets policies for the company, hires and fires employees, and is in charge of “all significant financial decisions and is involved in day-to-day activities” at Embrace Iowa.

The DOL claims Kalambokidis and the company violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act when they failed to pay their employees one-and-one-half times their regular rate of pay for time worked in excess of 40 hours per week.

The DOL also alleges that Embrace Iowa has failed to keep complete and accurate records related to its payroll – and specifically that it does not have accurate records showing the hours worked each day by employees.

Court records indicate Embrace Iowa has agreed to pay the $3,888 to four employees and to refrain from taking any retaliatory action against employees over complaints related to alleged wage-and-hour violations.

The settlement agreement has yet to be approved by the court as a consent order and judgment.

 

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Clark Kauffman
Clark Kauffman

Deputy Editor Clark Kauffman has worked during the past 30 years as both an investigative reporter and editorial writer at two of Iowa’s largest newspapers, the Des Moines Register and the Quad-City Times. He has won numerous state and national awards for reporting and editorial writing. His 2004 series on prosecutorial misconduct in Iowa was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting. From October 2018 through November 2019, Kauffman was an assistant ombudsman for the Iowa Office of Ombudsman, an agency that investigates citizens’ complaints of wrongdoing within state and local government agencies.

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