ContinuLink Releases Enhancement to Address Wage and Hour Concerns

Rowan Consulting Associates’ Tim Cook recently penned a feature story about Continulink‘s new product feature designed to address a common “hours worked” issue concerning travel time of nurses and other employees who travel to different facilities/homes during a common work day.

In May of 2006, a class of home health care workers filed a suit against Total Health Home Care for violations of the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act and the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law (Pa. Ct. C.P., No. 79-07111379). Essentially, the employees claimed that they were not being compensated for traveling time. Total agreed to pay $2.2 million to settle the case, illustrating the extent of potential liability in wage and hour litigation.

Travel time to and from work generally is noncompensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) but this 2006 case was not about traveling to the first or last home visit of the day. The court decided that travel time from one patient home to another is not only compensable but counts toward calculating overtime.

As class action lawsuits against home healthcare organizations peaked after the Pennsylvania case, the Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD), which is tasked with enforcement of the FLSA, has signaled that it, too, is paying close attention to the healthcare industry.

Enter home healthcare software to help
This week, ContinuLink, LLC, introduced a new feature designed to address a common “hours worked” issue concerning travel time of nurses and other employees who travel to different facilities/homes during a common work day.

Historically, home care agencies did not account for the time a caregiver travels between consecutive assignments as time worked. Evolving Wage and Hour cases suggest that this may not be the correct interpretation of regulations. Counting travel time between consecutive assignments (aka “Windshield Time”) as worked time is becoming more prevalent when calculating overtime.

Satish Movva, ContinuLink President, described the new feature. “Our recent enhancement allows an agency to configure the system to automatically track time between assignments and, based on an agency’s threshold parameters for duration, create travel time schedules between assignments.” He added that the enhancement should benefit agencies that have a travel time policy or otherwise wish to implement one to keep pace with evolving interpretation of Wage and Hour regulations.

Reprinted by permission. Read more at Rowan Consulting Associates’ Home Care Technology Report

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