Former Owners of Five Local Nursing Homes Fined for Wage Theft
BOSTON — The two former owners of five nursing homes in southeastern Massachusetts that were closed by state regulators in April for endangering residents have been cited $84,950 in penalties for failing to pay hundreds of nursing home workers.
On Thursday, Attorney General Maura Healey announced that Joseph Schwartz, who owns and operates Skyline Healthcare in New Jersey, and formerly owned and operated Bedford Gardens LLC and The Hallmark Care and Rehabilitation Center LLC in New Bedford; Dighton Care and Rehabilitation Center LLC in Dighton; and Highland Manor Care and Rehabilitation Center LLC in Fall River; and Michael Schwartz, who operated Bedford Village Care and Rehabilitation Center LLC in New Bedford, received 15 citations for failing to make timely payment of wages to 106 employees, provide paystubs to 369 employees, and provide payroll records.
“Skyline’s owner and operator stole from their employees and created staffing shortages that endangered the health and safety of their elderly residents,” said AG Healey.
“We expect nursing home operators to maintain the safe and dignified environment that residents and workers deserve.”
The AG’s Office began an investigation after receiving dozens of complaints from employees at the five Massachusetts facilities alleging they had been paid late for two pay periods and their paychecks could not be cashed due to insufficient funds.
The investigation revealed that the companies failed to make timely payment of wages totaling over $64,749 to 106 employees, failed to provide pay stubs to 369 employees and failed to provide payroll records to the AG’s Office upon request.
In April, the AG’s Health Care Division successfully petitioned the Superior Court to appoint a receiver over the facilities to protect the health and safety of the facilities’ residents. The court-appointed receiver, KCP Advisory Group LLC, was able to pay employees all outstanding back wages, including wages for paid time off.
Under Massachusetts law, employers must pay wages earned by employees within six days of the end of a pay period and must provide employees with a pay slip that contains certain information such as the number of hours worked, the hourly rate, and the amounts of deductions or increases made.
This matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Anita Maietta and Investigator Eduina Butts of the AG’s Fair Labor Division.