DOL: Company forced employees to stay for 3 years or pay back wages

by Ana Lopez

Advanced Care Staffing, a staffing agency operating in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, is being sued by the Department of Labor (DOL), Insider reported.

The business suit, which was filed on March 20, alleges that Advanced Care forced workers to enter into contracts that required them to work for at least three years — or pay back their wages. And, the lawsuit adds, Advanced Care forced employees to pay back wages, plus legal fees, if they didn’t.

It was filed in the Eastern District of New York.

“Under this arrangement, the wages ACS promises its employees may be converted into nothing but a loan that employees must repay with interest and fees,” the lawsuit said.

In the lawsuit, the DOL said an employee was being asked to pay back more wages than he ever earned at the company, to cover compensation that Advanced Care called “future profits,” the DOL alleged.

Companies cannot, “as an insurance policy, unconditionally guarantee a future stream of profits to the employer,” according to the lawsuit.

Advanced Care did not respond immediately request for comment.

But David N. Kelley, whose firm is representing the case, told Insider that the allegations are “not supported by the facts or the law.”

Kelley said the company provided contracts for nurses from outside the US to come to the country and work and covered things like immigration and housing costs, with the contractual arrangement that employees would stay with Advanced Care for three years.

“To be clear, ACS has never demanded — and no nurse has ever refunded — their just wages to ACS,” Kelley added.

Kelly is one lawyer at the firm of Dechert with experience in high-power litigation with regulators, according to his company bio.

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